US Navy captain becomes highest ranking navy official jailed in “Fat Leonard” scandal

The “Fat Leonard” bribery case which cost the U.S. Navy an estimated $20 million dollars has claimed the highest-ranking U.S. Navy official so far.

U.S. Navy Captain Daniel Dusek was sentenced in federal court today to 46 months in prison for giving classified information to foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, nicknamed Fat Leonard, in exchange for prostitutes, luxury travel and other gifts.

In addition to imposing the prison term, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino ordered Dusek to pay a $70,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the Navy. He was ordered to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on June 15.

Fat Leonard was the CEO of a company that provided port services to U.S. Navy vessels while they were in Asia.

High-ranking officials steered navy ships to ports where  Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), Leonard’s company, operated.

Francis asked Dusek to exercise his influence and steer the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its associated strike group to Port Klang, Malaysia – a port terminal owned by Francis. Dusek replied in a series of emails to GDMA in late August 2010 that he would make it happen.

“Good discussion with N00 (Admiral) today and convince him that PKCC (Francis’ terminal) is the better choice,” Dusek wrote to Francis on August 21, 2010. Three days later, Dusek reported to Francis that he had “everyone in agreement that the next CSG (Carrier Strike Group) through the AOR (area of responsibility) will stop at PKCC. Dates will be 08-12 Oct.”

Dusek, 49, pleaded guilty in January 2015 to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Dusek admitted that he used his influence as Deputy Director of Operations for the 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, and later as executive officer of the USS Essex and the commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard, to benefit Francis and his company.

According to Dusek’s plea agreement, he hand-delivered Navy ship schedules to the GDMA office in Japan or emailed them directly to Francis or a GDMA employee on dozens of occasions, each time taking steps to avoid detection by law enforcement or U.S. Navy personnel.

Dusek admitted that in return, Francis plied him with meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes.

“Captain Dusek’s betrayal is the most distressing because the Navy placed so much trust, power and authority in his hands,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “This is a fitting sentence for a man who was so valuable that his conspirators labeled him their ‘Golden Asset’.”

To date, 10 individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme; of those, nine have pleaded guilty.