A U.S. Navy commander pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he accepted bribes — including the services of prostitutes — in exchange for providing classified data to a defense contractor.
Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, is the fifth out of a group of seven to plead guilty to the corruption charges. Prosecutors said Sanchez provided the Singaporean company — Glenn Defense Marine Asia — with information on ships and other internal documents that could help the business better score lucrative contracts.
As payment, the company’s CEO paid Sanchez in cash, travel and other expensive gifts.
“Cmdr. Sanchez sold out his command and country for cash bribes, luxury hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
James Burch, deputy inspector general of investigations at the Pentagon’s defense criminal investigative service, said that “cases such as these are not motivated by need or other difficult personal circumstances; they are the product of simple greed.”
“This is an unfortunate example of dishonorable naval officers who recklessly risked the safety of our troops by trading classified information for cash, extravagant gifts and prostitutes,” Mr. Burch said.
Several other members of the Navy were arrested as well and are being tried separately. A sentencing hearing for Sanchez is scheduled for March. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.
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