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Another Navy officer pleads guilty in wide-spanning scandal

  • U.S. NAVY / AP
                                The U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) conducts routine operations in the Taiwan Strait, May 18, 2021.

    U.S. NAVY / AP

    The U.S. Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) conducts routine operations in the Taiwan Strait, May 18, 2021.

SAN DIEGO >> A U.S. Navy commander admitted in federal court to sending a Malaysian defense contractor classified ship schedules for the Navy’s 7th Fleet in exchange for extravagant meals, luxury travel, cash and the services of prostitutes.

Commander Stephen Shedd is the third member of the 7th Fleet to plead guilty to bribery charges in one of the Navy’s worst corruption scandals, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.

Nine members of the 7th Fleet were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2017 for conspiring with and receiving bribes from Leonard Francis.

Prosecutors said Francis’ firm, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia and its owner, known by his nickname “Fat Leonard,” bribed Navy officers with fancy gifts, trips and prostitutes to provide classified information in order to beat competitors and overcharge for services.

The scheme cost the Navy some $35 million.

“According to Shedd’s admissions as set forth in his plea agreement, the defendants informed Francis of planned U.S. Navy ship movements by providing Francis with classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and narrative summaries of those schedules. The defendants provided Francis with internal, proprietary U.S. Navy information,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said.

It was not clear what potential punishment Shedd will face after his plea in the court in San Diego. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21.

Shedd and his lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

The case has resulted in federal criminal charges against 34 Navy officials, defense contractors, including Francis, and the Glenn Defense Marine Asia corporation.

The trial of the six remaining defendants from the 7th Fleet is scheduled to begin Feb. 28.

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