The Navy has issued another scathing letter of censure in connection with a massive corruption scandal, this time to a retired chief petty officer who allegedly signed off on invoices he knew were inflated and sought gifts worth more than $10,000.
Retired Navy Chief Logistics Specialist Ulysis T. Guno is the latest person to be ensnared in the investigation into the Navy’s interactions with Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Known as the “Fat Leonard” scandal, the case has resulted in bribery and fraud charges against several high-ranking officers and senior enlisted sailors.
Guno allegedly “repeatedly and improperly accepted and solicited gifts from Leonard Francis and GDMA, a prohibited source,” Navy officials said in a statement Thursday. The allegations date back to his time serving as the supply leading chief petty officer on the destroyer Cushing in 2004 and with the Logistics Support Center for Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, Detachment Singapore, according to the statement.
“Based on the evidence reviewed, the total value of the gifts LSC (Ret.) Guno received from Mr. Francis/GDMA was at least $10,617.90,” it reads. “During the same period, LSC (Ret.) Guno repeatedly took action for the benefit of Mr. Francis/GDMA; he made a practice of unquestioningly recommending the approval of invoices on which he knew or believed GDMA was overbilling the Navy, and he shared internal Navy information with Mr. Francis/GDMA.”
Guno, who retired from the Navy in 2010, could not be reached for comment.
The letter of censure, which are typically filed in a service member’s official record, was issued by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.
Guno also, according to the statement, allegedly made numerous false statements to a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent who interviewed him in 2018.
Modly called Guno’s actions an embarrassment to the Navy and those who served with him. Guno’s actions deviated significantly from what’s expected of those serving in uniform, the acting secretary added, particularly for a chief petty officer — who are considered important enlisted leaders.
“The Navy’s core values include high standards of ethical conduct for all Sailors, and chief petty officers must not only meet those high standards but model them for others,” Modly said in a statement. “By abusing his position to solicit and receive gifts from a defense contractor, LSC (Ret.) Guno utterly failed to meet those standards.”
Francis, who is known as “Fat Leonard,” pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in 2015 after his company cheated the Navy of at least $35 million while providing fuel, water, food, sewage removal and other port services in U.S. 7th Fleet. The defense contractor traded Navy personnel cash, prostitutes, meals, trips and other gifts in exchange for classified info on ship and submarine movements.
The Justice Department has prosecuted the most serious cases. The Navy has handled those referred back to the service. Some of those have gone to court-martial. As of last year, nearly three dozen people had been charged, 22 of whom pleaded guilty.
Guno is one of more than a dozen people who’ve received letters from various Navy secretaries rebuking them for their alleged roles in the scandals.
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