The largest corruption case in the Navy’s history got bigger in May when three more people were arrested.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Gentry DeBord, retired Capt. Michael George Brooks, and retired Cmdr. Bobby R. Pitts all have been indicted on the following charges, according to the Washington Post:
- DeBord- conspiracy to commit bribery
- Brooks- granting diplomatic clearance to a government contractor
- Pitts- leaking Naval Criminal Investigative Service files to a government contractor
Brooks also is accused of allowing executives of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which had more than $200 million worth of contracts to resupply and refuel Navy vessels, to complete their own Navy documents and correspondence in an effort to protect their contracts and win even more government business, the Post reported.
The investigation into this bribery scandal began in 2013. Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard,” is a Malaysian defense contractor who pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribing Navy officials with cash, prostitutes, Cuban cigars, fine foods and luxury hotel accommodations. We wrote about this case in February as an example of how security clearance can be abused, and why the government fiercely adheres to the Adjudicative Guidelines for Determining Eligibility for Access to Classified Information.
Prosecutors have said that as many as 200 people are under investigation, the Washington Post reported.
Some involved in the investigation already have been sentenced. Capt. Daniel Dusek was sentenced to nearly four years in prison in March, and must pay $100,000 in fines, according to a different Washington Post article. He gave classified information to Glenn Defense Marine Asia personnel.
The investigation of this case has revealed that Francis and his employees had worked for years at working their way into the good graces of the Navy’s high-ranking officers. In so doing, the company bilked the federal government out of at least $20 million, and some reports put the figure as high as $35 million.
Security clearance lawyer Catie Young says this investigation should serve as a reminder to everyone who has a security clearance that they have a responsibility to protect classified information at all times, on duty and off, and not to use their access to information that could threaten national defense for their own betterment.
“I think it’s safe to assume that all of these Navy personnel, particularly the high-ranking officer, knew better,” Young says. “Now they must live with the consequences of their actions.”