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Navy officer to Fat Leonard: ‘I’m a small dog just trying to get a bone’

A former U.S. Navy Commander pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy in the bribes-for-secrets scandal that has decimated the Navy’s Pacific command.

Troy Amundson, 50, admitted taking the services of prostitutes and other bribes from Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Admunson lives in Ramsey, Minnesota. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery (18 U.S.C. § 371).

Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery and fraud charges. He directed a decade-long conspiracy involving scores of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud, and millions of dollars in bribes. 

The bribes included cash, prostitutes, luxury travel and hotel stays, electronics, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pigs.

Francis hasn’t been sentenced yet.

Amundson entered his guilty plea in federal court in San Diego.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for April 27.

So far, 20 of 29 defendants charged in the cased have pleaded guilty. Most are former Navy officers, including two admirals.

In return for the bribes, Amundson passed confidential, proprietary U.S. Navy information to Francis.

Francis used the information to win and keep Navy work. His company provided Navy ships with food, water, cleaning, and other port services in Asia.

Criminal investigators interviewed Amundson in October 2013. As part of his plea, he admitted that on the day of the 2013 interview, he deleted all of his private e-mail account correspondence with Francis.

From 2005 to 2013, Amundson coordinated the U.S. Navy’s joint military exercises with its foreign navy counterparts.
 
In 2012 and 2013, Francis paid for dinner, drinks, transportation, other entertainment expenses, and the services of prostitutes for Amundson and other U.S. Navy officers.

In one message investigators recovered from a private e-mail account, Amundson talked about arranging to pass confidential Navy information to Francis:

“Handoff?… [M]y [friend], your program is awesome. I [Amundson] am a small dog just trying to get a bone… however I am very happy with my small program. I still need five minutes to pass some data when we can meet up.  Cannot print.” 

That night, Francis arranged the services of several prostitutes from Mongolia for Amundson.

U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said Amundson “deliberately, methodically, and repeatedly traded his public office for entertainment expenses and the services of prostitutes, and in so doing, aligned himself with a foreign defense contractor over his Navy, his colleagues and his country.”

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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