A senior commander of the US Navy has admitted to receiving a giant bribe as part of the so-called “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal.
This has been described by some people as one of the largest national security breaches in the United States since the end of the Cold War 30 years ago.
‘Seducer’ of the Seventh Fleet
According to the latest confession in the shocking case, the US Navy officer in question, Commander Stephen Shedd, received bribes worth a combined total of a quarter-million dollars.
Shedd, who is part of the Navy’s Seventh Fleet, was bribed by the so-called “Fat Leonard”, a foreign defense contractor based in Singapore. He admitted to providing him with classified information from the US government.
To top it all off, the bribes only partly came in cash; the rest was in prostitutes, entertainment, food, hotels, travel, and “other gifts”, according to an announcement from the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, Shedd contended guilty to the bribery charges.
Nine other members of the leadership of the US Seventh Fleet are indicted on the same charges as Shedd. According to a report by the Navy Times, a total of 28 personnel of the US Navy and defense contractors admitted their guilt.
US Attorney Randy Grossman made it clear that Commander Stephen Shedd admitted he switched his allegiance from the US Navy to Leonard Francis; so have the other officers who confessed to accepting Fat Leonard’s bribers.
Whoa. More carnage from the Fat Leonard corruption scandal. https://t.co/1JXSgzyZxz
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 26, 2022
BBC: Commander Stephan Shedd, USN, has pleaded guilty to helping Fat Leonard defraud the Navy of $35 billion, in return for cash, expensive prostitutes, and luxurious travel. He is the third 7th officer to plead guilty out of 9 indicted. Fat Leonard was lured to the US and jailed
— LiberalNavySeal1 (@LeftyNavySeal) January 27, 2022
Military Secrets for ‘Sex Parties with Prostitutes’
According to the Department of Justice, Fat Leonard got to overbill the US Navy by some $35 million in the contracts he got awarded, thanks to the information from the bribed naval officers.
Francis himself pleaded guilty to the charges by the US government back in 2015, but hasn’t received a sentence for the time being.
He is a citizen of Malaysia and was the CEO of his defense contractor company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. The other information available about him is that he weighed around 350 pounds.
Shedd admitted during his time as a US Navy commander, he supplied Francis with confidential information on ship schedules and logistics.
According to Omar Lopez, the Director of the Naval Crime Investigative Service (NCIS), Shedd “abused his high-level position” to give Francis valuable information in exchange for various “lavish gifts”.
In a 2016 report by The Washington Post, Fat Leonard was described as the man “who seduced the Seventh Fleet”, while the corruption scheme itself ended.
Besides Shedd, six other defendants face charges, including “conspiring to trade military secrets,” as well as influence, in exchange for “sex parties with prostitutes” and “luxury dinners and travel”, in addition to other gifts.
Those include one other commander, four captains, and one rear admiral, Bruce Loveless.
a Singapore-based firm founded by a Malaysian national, Leonard Glenn Francis.
The scandal became widely known as the "Fat Leonard" scheme due to Francis's then-corpulent figure. –
— StevenB (@StevoB01) January 27, 2022
The podcast, titled "Fat Leonard," offers some new revelations, including that he kept sex videos of Navy officers with prostitutes and that Chinese spies may have hacked into his trove of secrets just before his arrest. https://t.co/M6Gjk0Ge8E
— Chad "this is a personal account" Garland (@chadgarland) December 2, 2021