Paul Hastings Secures Trial Victory for Retired Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless
Los Angeles – Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, secured a trial victory for retired Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless after a San Diego jury remained deadlocked and reached no verdict against Adm. Loveless on any count after 15 weeks of trial and approximately three weeks of jury deliberations. The jury convicted four other Naval officers on all counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
The case, filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California in March 2017, centered around Singapore-based military contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard.” The government claimed that Francis bribed United States Navy officials with gifts, like meals, cigars, and hotel stays, in exchange for steering Navy vessels into ports operated by his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (“GDMA”). In what has been described as the worst corruption scandal in the history of the Navy, the government alleged that Francis and GDMA overcharged the Navy more than $35 million for providing food, fuel, and other services for these vessels and their crewmembers.
“After more than five years of litigation and four months in trial, I am pleased that the jury declined to convict Admiral Loveless,” said Partner Daniel Prince, who led the Paul Hastings team and tried the case with Tom O’Brien and Ivy Wang of Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP. “This was a challenging case on all fronts, including extensive motion practice, analyzing approximately 14 million documents, conducting an evidentiary hearing during trial on the government’s withholding of exculpatory material (the Court concluded that the lead prosecutor engaged in ‘flagrant misconduct’), and cross-examining cooperating witnesses and government agents who built the case against Admiral Loveless and the other defendants for nearly a decade.”
Since the investigation began, prosecutors have obtained more than two dozen guilty pleas, in addition to the recent convictions of other defendants. At trial, which began in February 2022 after nearly two years of Covid-19 related delays, the government claimed that Admiral Loveless, a Naval intelligence officer, violated criminal law by breaching his duty to report the misconduct of other Navy personnel. The government did not call Francis as a witness during trial, despite several years of cooperation with investigators and prosecutors.
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