San Diego

Retired Admiral Appears in Federal Court for Navy Bribery Scandal

The defendants face criminal charges in connection with a widespread bribery scheme that has resulted in more than a dozen convictions involving senior U.S. Navy officials.

Retired Admiral Bruce F. Loveless appeared Friday in federal court to face a judge in the ongoing U.S. Navy bribery scandal.

Loveless, who prosecutors say played a pivotal role in the so-called "Fat Leonard" bribery scheme, was one of four defendants who appeared in court for a status conference on the case.

A federal judge denied the request by one defendant to return to his home in England while awaiting his trial.

Donald Hornbeck's attorney said his client needs to return to England to maintain his business and be close to his British wife and ailing mother-in-law.

But federal prosecutors said Hornbeck's strong foreign ties could tempt him to remain in England, or travel from there to another country, to avoid prosecution in the wide-ranging navy supply scandal.

Five other defendants were represented by their attorneys, but with the court's permission did not appear themselves.

The judge approved a six-month continuance in the case because there is so much evidence for defense attorneys to review.

The defendants face criminal charges in a scandal involving a Navy contractor named Leonard Glenn Francis, known by his nickname "Fat Leonard," who bribed high-ranking naval officers with gifts, dinners, and prostitutes.

Francis pleaded guilty to bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery and defrauding the U.S. government.

In return, they would direct Navy ships to ports run by those contractors, sending millions of dollars in contracts to the company owned by Francis.

The naval officers referred to their group as "the Cool Kids," "the Band of Brothers," "the Brotherhood," "the Wolfpack," or the "familia," federal prosecutors state in court documents.

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