It’s been four years since federal authorities made their first arrests in the worst corruption scandal in Navy history, but the criminal investigation shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
On Friday, Jesus V. Cantu, 59, a retired Navy captain and Stanford graduate, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego to conspiracy to commit bribery. In his plea agreement, he admitted to accepting expensive hotel rooms, fancy dinners and the services of prostitutes from Leonard Glenn Francis, a charismatic Asian defense contractor who did hundreds of millions of dollars of business with the Navy.
Cantu, of Silverdale, Wash., had not surfaced previously as part of the epic corruption case. He is the 19th defendant to be convicted. Federal prosecutors have charged 10 others whose cases are pending. Another defendant is facing charges in Singapore.
According to his plea agreement, Cantu began conspiring to commit bribery with Francis — known as “Fat Leonard” in Navy circles — in 2007 when Cantu was the assistant chief of staff for logistics for the Navy’s 7th Fleet, based in Asia.