Seven Navy officers who have pleaded guilty in a corruption and bribery scandal are reportedly still eligible for generous taxpayer-funded retirement benefits.
According to the Washington Post, the Navy still hasn't made a final determination on how much six of the officers convicted in the so-called Fat Leonard scandal will get for their pension.
But one, disgraced Navy admiral Robert Gilbeau, is set to collect $10,000 a month, the Post reported.
The scandal takes its name from the 350-pound Leonard Francis – a Singapore-based defense contractor who resupplied U.S. warships in Asia and who's pleaded guilty to bribing "scores” of Navy officials over a decade with prostitutes, cash, hedonistic parties and other gifts, the Post noted.
In exchange, according to federal prosecutors, the officials provided Francis with classified or inside information that enabled his firm, Glenn Marine Defense Asia, to gouge the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars, the Post reported.
Twenty-seven people have been charged with crimes since the investigation became public in 2013; more than 200 people — including 30 admirals — have come under scrutiny, the Post reported.
"These are serious matters, and the Navy engages in the diligence demanded in considering each case individually," Capt. Amy Derrick, a Navy spokeswoman at the Pentagon, told the Post about the pension decisions.
According to the Post, military personnel found guilty of serious misconduct are usually demoted and forced to retire – and because pension values are based on rank, losing a star or a stripe leads to a partial reduction in their pension.
But Gary Myers, a New Hampshire-based military defense attorney, told the Post that the Navy would probably consider dropping the convicted officers in the scandal from the pension rolls entirely.
"It would be a response to the egregious nature of what was done and the breach of faith with the American people by Navy personnel," Myers told the Post. "This is a monumental embarrassment to the Navy, and the Navy does not like to be embarrassed."
Derrick declined to say if that was under consideration.
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