A U.S. Navy commander is the 12th Navy official to be charged in a wide-ranging bribery case involving a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard."
Cmdr. Mario Herrera, 48, was accused in a complaint unsealed Thursday of accepting prostitutes, luxury trips, and $1,800 in steaks from Leonard Glenn Francis in exchange for classified information. Herrera could not be reached for comment.
According to the complaint, Herrera and other U.S. Navy 7th Fleet officers who helped Francis 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 those, 12 are current or former U.S. Navy officials.
Francis pleaded guilty to fraud involving his ship supply company. Prosecutors say Glenn Defense Marine Asia bilked the Navy out of $35 million.
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Rear Admiral Robert J. Gilbeau is the highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to have been charged in the case so far. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge in June 2016.
Gilbeau is also believed to be the first active-duty Naval flag officer to ever be charged in a federal criminal court, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego. He is still awaiting his sentence.
Lt Cdr Gentry Debord, Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Michael Brooks, U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, U.S. Navy Captain (Select) Michael Misiewicz, Lieutenant Commander Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug, civilian DOD employee Paul Simpkins have pleaded guilty in the case.
The case against Commander Bobby Pitts is still pending.