United States: Retired CWO Admits Taking $45K in Bribes, Pleads Guilty in Feds’ ‘Fat Leonard’ Investigation

Nearly four-and-a-half years after his indictment, a former U.S. 7th Fleet official on Tuesday admitted he traded classified ship schedules in exchange for luxury hotel stays, meals and entertainment while helping a Singapore-based company secure inflated Navy ship husbanding contracts.

Former Chief Warrant Officer Robert Gorsuch, 54, of Mississippi, agreed to plead guilty to one count of bribery of a public official, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego, Calif., announced Tuesday. Gorsuch could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced, although under the plea agreement he’s agreed to pay an undetermined amount in restitution.

Gorsuch is the first of the so-called “GDMA Nine” – all former 7th Fleet officials indicted in March 2017 – to plead guilty to federal charges in the bribery, conspiracy and corruption investigation involving Glenn Defense Marine Asia and Leonard Glenn Francis, its owner and chief executive officer.

Gorsuch was the flag administration officer for the Yokosuka, Japan-based 7th commander and staff from January 2005 to March 2008. In 2007 and in 2008, he gave Francis classified ship schedules and planned movements of several ships, including amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA-1) and guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70), according to prosecutors. In exchange, Gorsuch admitted that Francis covered Gorsuch’s expenses worth some $30,000 during stays at the luxury hotels Shangri-La Hotels in Cebu, Philippines; in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Sydney, Australia; and the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, according to his plea agreement. He also admitted to attending a $15,000 party Francis covered at the Manila Hotel in the Philippines.

The original full article can be found at usni.org

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