Glenn Defense Marine Asia
This image from the Glenn Defense Marine Asia website shows workers tending to a Navy ship. The Singapore-based defense contractor is embroiled in a fraud case.

A retired U.S. Navy captain was sentenced in San Diego federal court Thursday to two years and six months in federal prison for accepting bribes from a foreign defense contractor.

The courts continue to address the fallout from the longstanding corruption case prompted by Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis’ bribes to nearly three dozen naval officials and defense contractors.

Jesus Vasquez Cantu, 64, admitted in a plea agreement to accepting extravagant gifts from Francis beginning in 2007, when he was the assistant chief of staff for logistics for the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet.

Cantu later came to be “in charge of logistical sustainment to Navy ships operating in the Seventh Fleet,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Like other Navy officers implicated in the scandal, Cantu was accused of providing Francis with proprietary Navy information and helping to assist Francis’ ship husbanding company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

In return, Francis took Cantu and others “out for drinks and dinners at posh restaurants, nightclubs and karaoke bars and paid for lavish hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes on numerous occasions,” prosecutors said.

“Mr. Cantu entered a den of corruption and in the process repudiated his oath and betrayed the sacred trust placed in him by the American people,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement.

Cantu is the second former captain this month to receive a two-and-a-half-year sentence in the “Fat Leonard” case.

Four other Navy officers were convicted last year of accepting bribes during a jury trial held in San Diego, while dozens of others have pleaded guilty to various offenses.

Francis ultimately pleaded guilty to bribing numerous officers for their help in steering ships to ports his company controlled, which allowed him to over-bill the Navy by millions.

Following his guilty plea, Francis was on house arrest in San Diego for several years due to health issues. He fled the country last year, but was arrested in Venezuela, where he remains in custody.

City News Service