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The Latest: Judge releases retired admiral in bribery case

Posted March 14

— The Latest on indictments against a retired Navy admiral and eight other military officers in a burgeoning bribery scandal (all times local):

4 p.m.

A judge has ordered a retired Navy admiral released without bond in a burgeoning bribery scandal involving a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard" accused of providing prostitutes and other perks for secrets.

Retired Adm. Bruce Loveless appeared briefly in federal court in San Diego on Tuesday, hours after he was arrested at his home in the suburb of Coronado.

Magistrate Judge Mitchell Dembin entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of Loveless and another defendant, former Marine Col. Enrico DeGuzman, who was also allowed to remain free without bond. Seven other officers were indicted.

Prosecutor Patrick Hovakimian said the 53-year-old Loveless was responsible for collecting foreign intelligence was bribed with "wild sex parties."

Loveless didn't make any substantive comments at the hearing. He doesn't have an attorney.

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2:30 p.m.

A retired Navy admiral is among 9 military officers who have been indicted in a burgeoning bribery scandal involving a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard."

The indictment unsealed Tuesday in federal court in San Diego alleged that retired Adm. Bruce Loveless and the other officers accepted the services of prostitutes, lavish meals and fancy trips from Leonard Francis in exchange for helping his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Prosecutors say Francis overbilled the Navy of $35 million by overcharging for his company's services supplying Navy ships in the Pacific with food, water, fuel and other necessities.

The new indictment in the three-year-old case also charged a former Marine colonel.

More than two dozen people have been charged so far, including another admiral who was convicted last year.

Francis has pleaded guilty to fraud and is awaiting sentencing. His nickname comes from his wide girth.

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