Paul Hastings Wins Dismissal of All Charges Against Former Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless
September 16, 2022
Los Angeles – Paul Hastings LLP secured a complete victory for retired Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless with a dismissal of all government charges after a deadlocked jury reached no verdict against him following a 15-week trial and approximately three weeks of jury deliberations. Four other U.S. Navy officers were convicted on all counts, including conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, and conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud. The government claimed that Loveless violated criminal law by breaching his duty to report the misconduct of other Navy personnel.
“This is a complete victory for our client,” said Partner Daniel Prince, who led the Paul Hastings team along with Jamie Gardner, and tried the case with Tom O’Brien and Ivy Wang of Ellis George Cipollone O’Brien Annaguey LLP. “The evidence never supported an indictment, but after many years of litigation and a lengthy trial, we are pleased that the government finally did the right thing by dismissing all charges against Bruce Loveless. Admiral Loveless has served our country honorably and now can move forward with his life without the cloud of the case hanging over his head and his esteemed military career.”
In what has been described as the worst corruption scandal in the Navy’s history, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California filed charges in March 2017 in the case centered around Singapore-based military contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, known as “Fat Leonard.” The government claimed that Francis bribed U.S. 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”). 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.
“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,” said Prince.
Since the investigation began, prosecutors have obtained more than two dozen guilty pleas, in addition to the recent convictions of other defendants. The trial began in February 2022 after nearly two years of COVID-19 related delays and the government did not call Francis as a witness, despite several years of cooperation with investigators and prosecutors.
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