Former U.S. Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to Bribery in ‘Fat Leonard’ Corruption Scandal

101016-N-3589B-020 Subic Bay, Philippines (Oct. 16, 2010) Cmdr. Troy Amundson shares conversation with members of the Philippine Navy prior to a closing ceremony for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) held aboard the guided-missle destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97). CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and promote maritime security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jessica Bidwell/Released)

The largest corruption scandal in US Navy history has claimed another high-ranking officer following a guilty plea from a commander who once controlled the service’s joint military exercises.

Former US Navy Cmdr. Troy Amundson, 50, admitted taking bribes, including accepting the services of several prostitutes, from foreign contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard,” and his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

In exchange, he sent US Navy business to the company, according to a statement from the US Attorney Office in San Diego, California.

“Amundson admitted that from September 2012 through October 2013, Francis paid for dinner, drinks, transportation, other entertainment expenses, and the services of prostitutes for Amundson and other US Navy officers,” the US attorney’s statement said.

The “Fat Leonard” investigation began in 2013, and so far 20 of 29 defendants charged have pleaded guilty. Francis, whose nickname comes from his then 400-pound heft, admitted bribery and fraud charges in 2015.

Amundson, of Ramsey, Minnesota, was responsible for coordinating exercises with foreign navies from May 2005 to May 2013, according to the US Attorney’s statement. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

After he was interviewed by federal investigators in October 2013, Amundson deleted all correspondence between himself and Francis from his private email account, the statement said.

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SOURCE: CNN, Brad Lendon