Another high-ranking naval officer is accused of selling classified information for sex, as a sprawling international bribery and overbilling scheme threatens to engulf the U.S. Navy.
ABC News reported that Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested in Tampa, Florida on Wednesday for allegedly providing secret ship movements to Singapore-based contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which used the information to overcharge the Navy for its port services throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
In return, Sanchez received $100,000 in cash, ritzy international travel accommodations and the company of several prostitutes.
It’s an expansion of an already massive corruption investigation. The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported on the September arrests of Navy Commander Michael Misiewicz and NCIS agent John Beliveau, two prominent Navy officials also charged with providing secrets to Glenn Defense Marine CEO Leonard Francis.
Apparently not particularly creative, Francis also repaid the two in whores and expensive travel (although Misiewicz did manage to score some Lady Gaga tickets).
“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 in a statement.
Investigators still don’t have a firm grasp on how much money the Navy lost, but the few examples of overbilling from Thai ports alone put the damages at $10 million.
More arrests are likely in the coming days. The Navy removed Captain Daniel Dusek from command of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard early last month, though he has yet to be charged as part of the bribery ring. And court documents indicate that other anonymous Navy officers remain under investigation.
“Day by day, this massive Navy fraud and bribery investigation continues to widen,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman. “As the charges announced today show, we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”
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