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18-month sentence for ex-Navy commander in bribery scandal

FILE - This July 4, 2001, file photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense shows U.S. Navy Commander Dave Kapaun, right, with Republic of Singapore Navy Major Danny Tan, left, and Republic of Singapore Major H .C. Lim at a reception on board the U.S. Navy dock landing ship USS Rushmore during the seventh annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Exercise. Retired U.S. Navy Commander Kapaun,who pleaded guilty to lying about his relationship with a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard" is facing sentencing. (Kevin H. Tierney/U.S. Department of Defense via AP, file)
September 11, 2017 - 8:06 PM

HONOLULU - A retired U.S. Navy commander in Hawaii was sentenced Monday to 18 months in federal prison for lying about his relationship with a Malaysian defence contractor nicknamed "Fat Leonard."

David Kapaun abused his position in the Navy to help give a contractor an unfair advantage, U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said.

That contractor, Leonard Francis, has admitted bribing Navy officials with cash, prostitutes and other gifts in exchange for information to help his company. He's awaiting sentencing. Prosecutors call him the centre of a massive corruption scandal involving 30 defendants.

Kapaun, while working in Singapore from 2002 to 2004, was one of the officials Francis plied with gifts, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Pletcher said. Kapaun was instrumental in helping Francis grow his company, Pletcher said.

Kapaun didn't disclose receiving dinners, hotel stays and prostitutes from Francis, his defence attorney Victor Bakke said previously.

A "sense of entitlement" was partly to blame for his actions, Kapaun said at his sentencing. "I apologize to the American people," he said.

Bakke said Kapaun was prepared to pay $50,000 restitution on Monday and will pay a $25,000 fine in installments.

Mollway also ordered Kapaun to serve three years of supervised release and 200 hours of community service.

Kapaun pleaded in guilty in June, saying he lied when didn't disclose on a security clearance form his connection to Francis.

Kapaun retired and was honourably discharged in 2008 after a 25-year Navy career, Bakke said. The allegations prompted Kapaun to resign earlier this year from his civilian position as deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Special Operations Command Pacific.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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