Former Navy captain sentenced to more than 2 years in Fat Leonard bribery case

US Navy Corruption Bribes Guilty Plea
Former Navy Captain David Williams Haas. Photo credit: Screenshot,

A former US Navy Captain. sentenced in federal court in San Diego Thursday to two years and six months in federal prison in the Ongoing Fat Leonard corruption case.

David Williams Haas, 54, accepted more than $90,000 in bribes from a foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francisaccording to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Haas took Francis’ “luxury hotel stays, trips and call girls” between 2011 and 2013, prosecutors said. Like other Navy officers implicated in the scandal, Haas was accused of helping direct Navy ships to ports controlled by Francis’ shipping company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

According to a sentencing memorandum, Haas’s responsibilities included “directing the day-to-day operations of all US Navy ships operating within the 7th Fleet area of ​​responsibility, as well as establishing schedules for these ships.” , which allowed him to organize visits. to ports controlled by GDMA when requested by Francis.

On one such occasion, the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis paid a port visit to Sepangar, Malaysia, at the behest of Francis. GDMA billed the Navy more than $2.7 million for the visit, prosecutors said.

When investigators began looking into allegations that GDMA had overcharged for port visits, prosecutors said Haas defended GDMA before others in the Navy and advised Francis on how to respond to the allegations.

Haas was indicted in 2018 and pleaded guilty two years later to bribery conspiracy. In addition to prison, Haas was ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and $90,968.82 in restitution.

In a letter submitted by his defense attorney, Haas wrote: “Most likely, the prosecution will say that I was a good naval officer and a great operator, and for exactly that reason, I, more than anyone, should have known that my relationship with Mr. Francis was wrong. I’m not going to counter that. The prosecution is absolutely right.”

Four other Navy officers they were convicted last year of taking bribes during a jury trial in San Diego.

He longstanding fraud and bribery the investigation has resulted in federal criminal charges against 34 US Navy officers, defense contractors and the GDMA corporation; 33 defendants have pleaded guilty or been convicted of various crimes of fraud and corruption.

The investigation was conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 and was under house arrest in San Diego for several years due to failing health. fled from the country last yearbut he was arrested in Venezuela, where remains in custody.

– City News Service

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