A retired Rear Admiral has been indicted for trading classified information in return for accepting luxury travel, elaborate dinners and the services of prostitutes.
The US Department of Justice said the defendant allegedly participated in a bribery scheme with Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), in exchange for “helping steer lucrative contracts” and to “sabotage competing defence contractors”.
Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless (ret), 48, of San Diego, California, along with eight other high-ranking naval officers, is alleged to have violated his sworn naval duties, including those related to the handling of classified information and the reporting of foreign intelligence threats.
A total of 25 named individuals have now been charged in connection with the corruption and fraud investigation into GDMA, a defence-contracting firm based in Singapore, and its former CEO Leonard Francis.
Of those charged, 20 are current or former US Navy officials, including captains and commanders, and five are GDMA executives. To date, 13 have pleaded guilty while several other cases are pending.
According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly colluded to recruit members for the conspiracy, and to keep it secret by using fake names and foreign email service providers. The bribery scheme allegedly cost the Navy – and US taxpayers – tens of millions of dollars.
“This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, and it was allegedly carried out by the Navy’s highest-ranking officers,” said acting US attorney of the Southern District of California, Alana Robinson.
“The alleged conduct amounts to a staggering degree of corruption by the most prominent leaders of the Seventh Fleet – the largest fleet in the US Navy – actively worked together as a team to trade secrets for sex, serving the interests of a greedy foreign defence contractor, and not those of their own country.”
Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) said the investigation should serve as a warning to others.
“The charges and subsequent arrests are yet another unfortunate example of those who place their own greed above their responsibility to serve this nation with honour.
“This investigation should serve as a warning sign to those who attempt to compromise the integrity of the Department of Defense that DCIS and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue these matters relentlessly.”
Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) said that his agency “remains resolved to follow the evidence wherever it leads, and to help hold accountable those who make personal gain a higher priority than professional responsibility.
“It's unconscionable that some individuals choose to enrich themselves at the expense of military security, ” he said.
A number of defendants were sentenced last year, including former Department of Defense contracting officer Paul Simpkins, who was jailed for 72 months.
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