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Two admirals face investigation in Navy bribery scheme

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ADDS DATE OF ANNOUNCEMENT - This undated photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, left, and Vice Adm. Ted Branch in an offical portraits. The Navy announced Friday night Nov. 8, 2013 it has suspended access to classified material of Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless and Adm. Ted Branch in connection with a massive bribery scheme in Asia involving prostitutes and luxury travel. (AP Photo/US Navy)THE ASSOCIATED PRESS2013

Two U.S. Navy admirals have reportedly become ensnared in a far-reaching bribery scandal involving the alleged sale of classified information to a Malaysian defense contractor.

The Washington Post reports Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless have both taken forced leaves of absence and had their access to classified materials suspended.

The news comes on the heels of the reports that at least two Navy commanders allegedly leaked inside information to Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis -- chief executive of the contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which resupplies ships and submarines across Asia.

Federal prosecutors are reportedly accusing Navy Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, of tipping off Francis to the worldwide movement of Navy ships so his company could obtain contracts to service those vessels at port.

Also reportedly arrested was Naval Criminal Investigative Service supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau, 44, who allegedly (and secretly) downloaded reports on his agency’s investigation into Glenn Defense Marine Asia -- and how it won a $125 million contract to service naval ships at ports of  call.

Such information allegedly allowed the company to bilk the U.S. government of more money – and even secure more contracts worth up to $200 million -- as it defended itself from the Navy's criminal investigations. 

The Post wrote in a past report that in return for the ill-gotten information, Glenn Defense Marine also supplied the officers with prostitutes, cash, luxury hotel rooms, plane tickets, and even tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand.

According to The Post, neither Branch nor Loveless has as-yet been charged with a crime or service violation, or been demoted. As director of naval intelligence, Branch serves as the Navy’s top intelligence officer.

But the paper cited a Navy official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, as saying the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service unearthed evidence of “personal misconduct,” by Branch and Loveless as part of the larger investigation into Glenn Defense Marine.

And the paper adds the alleged improprieties predate either man’s promotion to their current positions.

“We do believe that other naval officers will likely be implicated in this scandal,” Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Navy’s chief spokesman, told The Post in a telephone interview.
 
Click for the story from The Washington Post.

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