Top Navy Official Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison in Bribery Scandal

Sunday, April 03, 2016
Capt. Daniel Dusek (L) gives Burmese officers tour of USS Bonhomme Richard, 2012 (photo: Mark R. Alvarez, U.S. Navy)

By Bianca Bruno, Courthouse News Service

 

SAN DIEGO (CN) - The highest-ranking naval official charged in a massive bribery scandal has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for sharing classified information in exchange for prostitutes, luxury travel and other gifts.

 

U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek was sentenced in Federal Court Friday by U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino, who also 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.

 

Dusek pleaded guilty in January 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He admitted to using his influence as deputy director of operations for the Seventh Fleet to benefit foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and Francis' Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Dusek's involvement in the conspiracy continued at his later posts as executive officer of the USS Essex and as commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard, according to U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

 

Francis' company provided port services for U.S. Navy ships for decades, according to Duffy.

 

In an email to one of his employees, Francis wrote of Dusek's vital role in the conspiracy: "[Dusek] is a golden asset to drive the big decks (aircraft carriers) into our fat revenue GDMA ports."

 

Dusek admitted that in exchange for directing Navy ships and aircraft carriers to ports operated by Francis he received meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes, Duffy said.

 

Sammartino told Dusek during the sentencing: "It's truly unimaginable to the court that someone in your position with the United States Navy would sell out based on what was provided to you." The judge also noted Dusek's actions had "potentially jeopardized national security."

 

Duffy echoed Sammartino's statements.

 

"Capt. Dusek's betrayal is the most distressing because the Navy placed so much trust, power and authority in his hands. This is a fitting sentence for a man who was so valuable that his conspirators labeled him their 'golden asset,'" Duffy said.

 

Department of Defense director James Burch added that Dusek's crime was not "motivated by need or other difficult personal circumstances; they are the product of simple greed."

 

When Dusek found out about the investigation he deleted his email accounts in an attempt to cover up his crimes, according to Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.

 

In his plea Dusek admitted that he hand-delivered Navy ship schedules to Francis' office in Japan or emailed them directly to him, each time taking steps to avoid detection by law enforcement.

 

Dusek was rewarded for his efforts with a lavish family trip to the Marriott Waikiki in Hawaii in July 2010 paid for by Francis, according to Dusek's plea agreement.

 

A few weeks later, in August 2010, Francis paid for a hotel room for the 49-year-old Dusek at the Shangri-La in the Philippines and also paid for a prostitute.

 

Soon after Dusek's paid vacations, Francis asked him to return the favor by using his influence to have the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln make a port visit to Port Klang in Malaysia - a port terminal owned by Francis. The 4-day visit in October 2010 cost the United States about $1.6 million, according to Duffy.

 

Ten individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme, and nine have pleaded guilty. Former Department of Defense civilian employee Paul Simpkins is awaiting trial, Duffy said.

 

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Defense Contract Audit Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Pletcher and attorney Brian Young of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section.

 

To Learn More:

Did you Hear about the Navy Bribery Scandal Involving a Dozen Admirals, “Yummy” Prostitutes and “Fat Leonard”? (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Top Navy Officials Arrested in Bribery Scandal Involving Prostitutes, Cash, and Lady Gaga Tickets (by Danny Biederman and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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