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First Military Trial In Navy's 'Fat Leonard' Scandal Results In Guilty Plea
The first sailor to face a military trial in connection with the Navy's expansive "Fat Leonard" corruption scandal has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to six months confinement and a $10,000 fine.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Brian Ware pleaded guilty to ethics violations during a court-martial at Naval Station Norfolk on Thursday that included violation of a lawful order and graft. Prosecutors said he accepted more than $8,000 worth of hotel rooms, cell phones and personal drivers during more than a dozen port visits in Asia that were paid for by Glenn Marine Defense Asia.
Ware was the food service officer aboard the 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge and the aircraft carrier USS George Washington from 2010 to 2013. In that role, he placed food orders with Glenn Marine Defense Asia, which was the only authorized contractor at the time. Company officials said they were able to significantly mark up the price of the orders Ware made, which ranged from small amounts to up to $100,000. While the Navy used a standard 21-day menu, Ware had discretion to decide which items to buy and in which quantities, according to a stipulation of facts Ware signed.
Ware has lived in Japan since 2009 and is currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. He enlisted in 1987 and was charged by the military less than two weeks before he was set to retire. He is one of five sailors who has been charged by the Navy in connection with the "Fat Leonard" scandal instead of the Justice Department.
“Fat Leonard” is the nickname for Leonard Francis, the owner and chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to presiding over a conspiracy involving “scores” of Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud, and millions of dollars in bribes and gifts in return for lucrative contracts to provide services to ships while in southeast Asia, according to the Justice Department.
During his sentencing hearing, Ware broke down emotionally and said he was ashamed of what he had done and that his wife in Japan and their newly adopted 2-year-old daughter would suffer.
"I lost everything. I love this uniform. I love the Navy," Ware, 49, said through tears.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 15 months, while Ware's defense attorney noted that Ware was a "small fish" in the "Fat Leonard" scandal that's ensnared admirals and asked that he only pay a fine and deal with the consequences of being a convicted felon who may not be able to return to Japan because of that country's strict immigration laws and his status as a felon.
©2018 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the six-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.