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Home blog Criminal Defense In the News White Collar Crimes US Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to Bribery in San Diego Federal Court

US Navy Commander Pleads Guilty to Bribery in San Diego Federal Court

By Michael Guisti on January 8, 2015

San Diego, CA — Generally speaking, white collar crimes like fraud and bribery are punished with shorter prison terms than violent crimes like murder, rape, or assault with a deadly weapon. However, white collar crimes can draw lengthy sentences when the defendant is convicted on multiple charges or when particularly large sums of money are involved.

Cmdr Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, an active-duty officer in the US Navy, is the fifth person to plead guilty in a bribery case at federal court in San Diego. According to prosecutors, in exchange for cash, travel accommodations, and prostitutes, Sanchez and other officers helped direct business to Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a company that services ships and submarines in Asia and the Pacific. Leonard Glenn Francis, the company’s CEO has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Specifically, prosecutors say that Sanchez gave out classified information regarding ships in the region and schedules that would give Glenn Defense Marine Asia an edge against other contractors providing similar services. In addition to direct bribes to officers, Francis has also been accused of throwing lavish parties for officers and adding the costs of these parties to service bills. In all, the scheme is believed to have cost taxpayers more than $20 million, mainly in bill padding. Sanchez is due to be sentenced in March and could face up to 20 years in prison.

The simplest description of bribery is an exchange of favors in order to bypass a legal barrier. For example, a local construction company might pay off a city official to get out of a costly safety inspection. However, to be charged with bribery a full exchange does not need to be carried out, both offering and asking for bribes are illegal as well.

However, there are successful strategies for building a courtroom defense against bribery. The burden of proof lies on the prosecution and their biggest hurdle is demonstrating that money or gifts were given quid pro quo, that is in the expectation that something will be given in return.

Right now the public has an especially unsympathetic view of people who have been accused of white collar crimes, so it is more important than ever to have an attorney on your side when fighting white collar crimes charges.

At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve been defending clients against all kinds of criminal charges for over 16 years. In that time, we’ve had great success in having the charges against our clients reduced or dismissed in Orange County’s state and federal courts. Our team of highly skilled criminal defense attorneys know the best strategies for fighting allegations of white collar crime, theft, sexual assault, domestic violence, murder, and other crimes. We aren’t afraid of tackling tough cases and have taken on several cases that garnered local media attention.

We have offices across Orange County to be more convenient to clients in areas as diverse as Brea, Anaheim Hills, Seal Beach, Laguna Niguel, and Westminster. Our staff is available to help you 24/7 and we’ll do our best to set your mind at ease during a difficult time. As part of our dedication to serving our clients’ needs, we are proud to offer foreign language services.

So when you need a strong courtroom defense in Orange County, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 707-2797.


Perry, Tony. “Navy officer becomes 5th person to plead guilty.” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-officer-navy-bribery-20150106-story.html. Los Angeles Times. 6 January 2015.

Spagat, Elliot. “US Navy commander pleads guilty in massive bribery case.” http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/01/06/49116/us-navy-commander-pleads-guilty-in-massive-bribery/. 89.3 KPCC. 6 January 2015.

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