SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Navy commander is the 12th Navy official to be charged in a wide-ranging bribery case involving a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” and was part of a group of officers called the “Wolf Pack” who accepted the services of prostitutes and other perks in exchange for classified information.
Cmdr. Mario Herrera was accused in a complaint in San Diego federal court that was unsealed Thursday of diverting ships to financially lucrative ports for Leonard Glenn Francis in exchange for the trips to fancy hotels where prostitutes were arranged to meet him, and extravagant dinners provided, including $1,800 in steaks. Herrera could not be reached for comment.
According to the complaint, Herrera and other U.S. Navy 7th Fleet officers who helped Francis in exchange for the perks called themselves the “Band of Brothers” and the “Wolf Pack.”
A total of 17 people have been charged so far in the case that has taken down officials for about three years. Of them 12 are current or former Navy officials — 10 of whom have pleaded guilty.
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Francis, whose nickname comes from his wide girth, has pleaded guilty to fraud involving his ship supply company and is awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors say Glenn Defense Marine Asia bilked the Navy out of $35 million by overcharging for his company’s services that supplied Navy ships in the Pacific with food, water, fuel and other necessities.
Francis would overcharge or submit fake tariffs from ports, prosecutors said.