Former Navy commander sentenced to 46 months in ‘Fat Leonard' bribery case

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Capt. Daniel Dusek
From Stripes.com
Capt. Daniel Dusek

Former Navy commander sentenced to 46 months in ‘Fat Leonard' bribery case

by: Wyatt Olson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: March 26, 2016

The highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer convicted so far in a widespread Asian bribery scandal was sentenced Friday to 46 months in prison in federal district court in San Diego.

Capt. Daniel Dusek was also ordered to pay a $70,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution.

Dusek, 49, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy of bribery on Jan. 15, 2015, in a case involving the trade of military secrets to an Asian defense contractor in exchange for access to prostitutes, luxury hotel suites and other perks.

Two sailors have already received prison terms in the bribery scandal, headed by Singapore-based businessman Leonard Francis, referred to as “Fat Leonard” by Navy officials.

Before being sentenced, Dusek told the judge, “I will hold this guilt in my heart for the rest of my life,” according to the Associated Press.

But U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino was unmoved, telling Dusek that his actions “potentially jeopardized national security.”

“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 – hotel rooms, entertainment and the services of prostitutes,” the judge said.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement that it was “a fitting sentence” for a man considered so valuable by his conspirators that they’d dubbed him their “Golden Asset.”

“Captain Dusek’s betrayal is the most distressing because the Navy placed so much trust, power and authority in his hands,” she said.

Dusek, who was ordered to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on June 15, has been free on bond and serving desk duty at Naval Base Coronado, San Diego.

The Pentagon declined to comment on Dusek, referring all inquiries to the U.S. Department of Justice. Naval Base Coronado did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a plea agreement, Dusek admitted using his influence, first as deputy director of operations for the 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, and then later as commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard and the executive officer of the USS Essex, to help Francis and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Francis would routinely overcharge the Navy for services and supplies.

Francis furnished Dusek with extravagant meals, booze, gifts, prostitutes, and fully paid luxury hotel suites. In exchange, Dusek personally delivered and emailed Navy ship schedules to Francis and his employees on numerous occasions.

He directed Navy ships to the company’s port terminals, and in one case steered the entire USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Group to a port terminal owned by Francis in Malaysia.

Ten individuals have been charged in connection to case, nine of whom have pleaded guilty, including Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki, Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Layug.

In January, Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison and a $15,000 fine, and Malaki was sentenced to 40 months in prison, and $30,000 in fines and restitution.

The bribery case is still under investigation by U.S. authorities.

Dusek’s attorney, Douglas Applegate, said in court Friday that there “are probably close to 200 officers still being investigated,” Bloomberg reported. Applegate said that “high-ranking admirals” were currently under investigation.

olson.wyatt@stripes.com

Twitter: @WyattWOlson

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