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Former Navy commander admits prostitutes, entertainment in ‘Fat Leonard’ scandal

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)

Another high-ranking Navy official has become entangled in the “Fat Leonard” bribery scandal, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Former Cmdr. Troy Amundson, 50, who coordinated joint military exercises with the Navy’s foreign counterparts from 2005 to 2013, pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Tuesday to federal bribery conspiracy charges.

He admitted to passing confidential information to Leonard Glenn Francis, the military contractor at the center of the biggest corruption scandal in modern Navy history, as well as taking actions that benefited Francis’ company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

In exchange, Amundson admitted to accepting gifts from Francis from 2012 to 2013, including meals, drinks, entertainment and the services of several prostitutes from Mongolia.

In one email, Amundson arranged for the “handoff” of some proprietary information to Francis: “your program is awesome. I am a small dog just trying to get a bone… however I am very happy with my small program. I still need five minutes to pass some data when we can meet up. Cannot print.”

Amundson, of Ramsey, Minn., also admitted to deleting all of his personal emails with Francis in 2013 on the same day he was interviewed by federal investigators about the case.

He is one of 20 defendants charged in the investigation who have pleaded guilty. Nine others are still fighting charges.

Francis is among those who have pleaded guilty, admitting to defrauding the Navy out of at least $35 million.


© 2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.