Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"Navy repeatedly dismissed evidence that ‘Fat Leonard’ was cheating the 7th Fleet"

WaPo:

The Navy allowed the worst corruption scandal in its history to fester for several years by dismissing a flood of evidence that the rotund Asian defense contractor was cheating the service out of millions of dollars and bribing officers with booze, sex and lavish dinners, newly released ­documents show.

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staffers at U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters were so worried about the potential for trouble that they drafted a new ethics policy to discourage Navy personnel from accepting favors from Francis. But their effort was blocked for more than two years by admirals who were friendly with the contractor, according to officials familiar with the matter.

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there is no end in sight to the investigation and that 200 people have fallen under scrutiny. Among them are about 30 current or retired admirals

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Federal court records show that Francis methodically cultivated a network of paid Navy informants over many years and planted them throughout the bureaucracy. He had spies inside the Navy’s regional contracting office in Singapore, the U.S. Embassy in Manila and the wardroom of the USS Blue Ridge, a command ship that serves as the flagship for the Navy’s 7th Fleet and the hub for maritime operations in Asia.

In exchange for paid sex with prostitutes, cash and luxury vacations, Francis’s informants fed him a near-daily diet of classified material and inside information that enabled him to keep gouging the Navy and outfox his pursuers for years, according to court records.

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“What else could I have done to expose this racket?” said David Schaus, who has since left the military. Others in the Navy, he added, “made my life hell” after they learned he had tried to blow the whistle on Glenn Defense.