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Third senior Navy official charged in bribery scheme involving prostitutes, cash

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A complaint unsealed Wednesday charges a third senior U.S. Navy official with accepting prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000 cash from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for classified and internal Navy information.

Navy Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested in Tampa Wednesday morning and made his initial appearance in federal court in Florida Wednesday afternoon. Federal authorities will seek to have Sanchez extradited to San Diego to face charges.

Also named in the complaint is Leonard Glenn Francis, 49, of Malaysia -- the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia -- who was arrested Sept. 16 in San Diego.

Two other senior Navy officials -- Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II -- are charged separately in connection with bribery allegations.

"According to the allegations in this case, a number of officials were willing to sacrifice their integrity and millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gratification," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

"While the overwhelming majority of the 400,000 active duty Navy personnel conduct themselves in a manner that is beyond reproach, we and our law enforcement partners at Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Defense Criminal Investigative Service continue to investigate the allegations of fraud and corruption that tarnish the stellar reputation of the U.S. Navy," she said.

According to the complaint, Sanchez received bribes in return for sending sensitive U.S. Navy information to Francis, and making recommendations within the Navy to benefit Francis' company, GDMA, a multinational corporation and longtime government contractor based in Singapore.

GDMA provides hundreds of millions of dollars of "husbanding" services for the U.S. Navy in at least a dozen countries throughout the Pacific. Husbanding involves supplying food, water, fuel, tugboats and fenders, security, transportation, trash and liquid waste removal, and other goods and services to ships and submarines in foreign ports.

Like Sanchez, Misiewicz is accused of providing sensitive Navy information to Francis and secretly working on behalf of GDMA in exchange for prostitutes and luxury travel.

GDMA, which has operating locations in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and the United States, overcharged the Navy and submitted bogus invoices for millions of dollars in services, the complaint alleges.

According to court records, Sanchez regularly emailed Francis internal Navy discussions about GDMA, including legal opinions, and made recommendations in GDMA's favor about port visits and Navy personnel assignments.

In return, Francis allegedly gave Sanchez more than $100,000 in cash, together with travel expenses and providing him with prostitutes.

Court records allege that the conspiracy started in 2009, when Sanchez was the deputy logistics officer for the commander of the U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet in Yokohama, Japan, and continued when he was transferred to serve as director of operations for Fleet Logistics Command in Singapore, until he transferred to Florida in April of this year.

Sanchez and Francis allegedly communicated regularly via email and Facebook. Sanchez referred to Francis as "Lion King" and "Boss" in the emails, while Francis called Sanchez "brudda," according to court papers.

For his part, Francis allegedly hired female escorts for Sanchez and friends on multiple occasions.

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