San Diego federal prosecutors dismissed charges this week against a retired Navy admiral who was one of five officers tried for allegedly accepting bribes from foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis.
On Wednesday, prosecutors moved to dismiss the case against Former Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, who went to trial earlier this year along with four fellow officers who were convicted by a San Diego federal jury.
Jurors, however, were unable to reach a verdict against Loveless, who will not face a retrial following Wednesday’s dismissal motion.
Prosecutors alleged the defendants, former members of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, took bribes in exchange for providing Francis with classified information regarding ship schedules and used their positions in the Navy to influence the movements of ships to ports serviced by Francis’ Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Prosecutors allege GDMA overbilled the Navy by more than $35 million to provide husbanding services.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that, in exchange for steering business toward GDMA, the officers accepted expensive meals, fancy hotel accommodations and the services of prostitutes, all on Francis’ dime. Prosecutors said the men operated at Francis’ beck and call, referring to him in correspondence as “Admiral,” “Emperor” and “Boss.”
Francis, who pleaded guilty in 2015 and was awaiting a sentencing hearing scheduled for next week, did not testify at trial as expected and fled from his San Diego home earlier this month while under house arrest. He remains on the run and authorities have issued a reward of up to $40,000 for information leading to his capture.
More than two dozen others have also pleaded guilty in connection with the case.
The trial resulted in convictions for conspiracy, bribery and other charges against former Cmdr. Mario Herrera and former Capts. David Newland, James Dolan and David Lausman, all of whom await sentencing later this year.
–City News Service