Federal prosecutors have charged a Navy commander with accepting prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000 from a Singaporean defense contractor in exchange for classified information, according to the Justice Department.
Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested Tuesday and is the third Navy official charged with taking bribes from the contractor. Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Naval Criminal Investigative Service Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II were charged separately.
Sanchez allegedly provided information that benefited Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a longtime contractor that supplies goods and services to ships and submarines in foreign ports. Court documents unveiled Wednesday accuse Sanchez of selling ship schedules and information that helped GDMA “win and maintain Navy business.”
“As described in the corruption charges unsealed today, senior officials with the United States Navy abused their trusted positions as leaders in our armed forces by peddling favorable treatment -- and even classified government information -- for their personal benefit,” acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement. “According to the allegations in this case, a number of officials were willing to sacrifice their integrity and millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gratification.”
In one example, Sanchez arranged for the USS Martin to buy fuel from GDMA rather than using “sea cards,” which take advantage of rates pre-negotiated by the Defense Logistics Agency. As a result, officials paid more than double the amount they should have for USS Martin fuel.
Sanchez reportedly communicated with Leonard Glenn Francis, GDMA’s CEO who was arrested in September, via email and Facebook messages. The Navy commander referred to himself and his friends as the “Wolf Pack,” and consistently asked Francis to arrange hotel rooms and escorts. Sanchez often called Francis the “Lion King” and asked him for photos of the prostitutes for “motivation.” Sanchez allegedly responded to the pictures by telling Francis, “Yummy…daddy like.”
In return, Francis is said to have written to the prostitute, telling her, “Hey Love Jose is in Manila at the DIAMOND Hotel go and see him he needs some love asap.”
The investigation is ongoing and is being conducted NCIS, the Defense Criminal Investigative Serve, the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Day by day, this massive Navy fraud and bribery investigation continues to widen,” Raman said, “and as the charges announced today show, we will follow the evidence wherever it takes us.”