WASHINGTON -- A “raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitutes” at the Makati Shangri-La and the use of memorabilia in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila Hotel for sexual acts.
These were among the sleazy details in the indictment of a retired US Navy admiral and eight other ranking officers charged over a sex and bribery dubbed the “Fat Leonard” case.
Retired rear admiral Bruce Loveless, a Navy intelligence officer, is the second admiral to be charged in the case, which has now grown to include 25 named defendants.
In June last year, Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau admitted before a federal judge in San Diego that he had lied when he told investigators he had never received gifts from Francis.
Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis -- dubbed "Fat Leonard" on account of his portly figure -- is at the center of the case and awaiting US sentencing after admitting his port-services company plied officers with cash, prostitutes and other perks to ensure US Navy ships stopped at ports where his firm operated.
According to prosecutors, Francis had picked up the tab on widespread debauchery including a May 2008 "raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitutes, during which the conspirators drank all of the Dom Perignon available at the Shangri-La" hotel in Manila at a cost of more than $50,000.
In one port visit by the USS Blue Ridge in 2007, historical memorabilia in the MacArthur Suite at the Manila Hotel related to legendary US Army General Douglas MacArthur "were used by the participants in sexual acts," the indictment stated.
A statement from the Manila Hotel said, however, that neither Loveless nor Francis turned up in a thorough check of its reservations records in the period when the orgies were reported to have happened.
In one incident, Francis hosted a dinner in Hong Kong at which Loveless and others allegedly gorged on an eight-course meal featuring black truffle soup, rock lobster salad, caviar, pan-seared duck liver and other fancy foods.
"Each course was paired with Champagne or fine wine," prosecutors said, and the total cost of the event was "approximately" $18,371.
Retired US Navy admiral Bruce Loveless, one of several ranking officers been charged in a sex and bribery scandal.
Loveless was taken into custody at his home in Coronado on Tuesday and was expected to make his first appearance in federal court later in the day.
Loveless' LinkedIn profile says he retired in October 2016 after serving three decades as an intelligence officer in the Navy. He did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
"He directly and indirectly, corruptly demanded, sought, received, accepted, and agreed to receive and accept things of value ... including entertainment, hotel stays, and the services of prostitutes," the indictment stated.
A report in USA Today said in exchange for the bribes, Loveless and the other defendants also provided Francis with classified information he then used to gouge the Navy for servicing ships.
Aside from this, “the defendants recruited new members and sought to keep their conspiracy secret through fake names, cost the Navy and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars,” the report said.
“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,” Acting US Attorney Alana Robinson was quoted as saying in a statement cited by USA Today. “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 defense contractor, and not those of their own country.”
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