Corruption SCANDAL – Govt. COVER-UP?

A federal judge last week dismissed the felony convictions of five retired military officers who admitted taking bribes in the infamous “Fat Leonard” corruption case after the convictions were vacated last September due to prosecutorial misconduct.

Retired Naval officers Robert Gorsuch, Donald Hornbeck, and Jose Luis Sanchez, along with retired Marine Corps Col. Enrico DeGuzman all pleaded guilty last Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of disclosing information while the case against a fourth retired Naval officer, Stephen Shedd, was thrown out entirely.

The five officers admitted that they accepted bribes from Malaysian defense contractor Leonard Francis – AKA “Fat Leonard” – in one of the US Navy’s largest corruption cases.


The felony dismissals marked the latest setback in the federal government’s yearslong effort to target dozens of US military officials tied to Francis, who owned Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, a Singapore-based contractor that supplied fuel, food, and water to the US Navy.

In their request to dismiss the felony charges, prosecutors argued that they weren’t requesting a dismissal because the five defendants were innocent of the charges but due to the mistakes made by the prosecution during the case, including withholding some evidence from the defense.

US District Judge Janis Sammartino ruled in 2022 that the former lead prosecutor in the case committed misconduct by withholding information from defense counsel. The felony convictions against the four Navy officers were vacated last September and the four officers agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for which they each paid a fine of $100.

Leonard Francis is currently awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty to offering bribes of over $500,000 in cash, as well as other gifts, to defense contractors, Navy officials, and others. In exchange, Francis received at least $35 million worth of maritime services by getting Navy commanders to redirect vessels to ports he controlled and then overcharging for his services.

Francis was arrested during a sting in San Diego in 2013. He escaped house arrest in 2022 just weeks before his initial sentencing hearing and was later captured in Venezuela and extradited to the US in 2023 as part of a prisoner exchange.