SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. Navy commander has admitted in federal court to sending a Malaysian defense contractor classified ship schedules for the Navy’s 7th Fleet in exchange for extravagant meals, luxury travel, money and the services of prostitutes.
Commander Stephen Shedd is the third member of the 7th Fleet to plead guilty to bribery charges in one of the Navy’s worst corruption scandals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.
Nine members of the 7th Fleet were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2017 for conspiring and taking bribes from Leonard Francis.
Prosecutors said Francis’ company, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and its owner, known by his nickname “Fat Leonard”, bribed naval officers with fancy gifts, trips and prostitutes to provide classified information to beat competitors and overcharge services.
The program cost the Navy some $35 million.
“According to Shedd’s confession as set out in his plea agreement, the defendants informed Francis of the planned movements of the United States Navy ships by providing Francis with classified schedules of the United States Navy ships and narrative summaries of those schedules . The defendants provided Francis with inside and proprietary United States Navy information,” the statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
It’s unclear what potential punishment Shedd will face after his plea in court in San Diego. He is due to be sentenced on July 21.
Shedd and his attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case resulted in federal criminal charges against 34 Navy officials, defense contractors including Francis, and Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
The trial of the six remaining 7th Fleet defendants is scheduled to begin on February 28.