Ex-US Navy staff member charged with getting cash bribes and lavish hotel stay from contractor

Gursharan Kaur Sharon Rachael was charged in court on Thursday (Dec 3) with seven counts of corruptly receiving $130,278 cash. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A former United States Navy employee was charged in court on Thursday (Dec 3) with seven counts of corruptly receiving a total of $130,278 in the form of cash and paid accommodation in luxury hotels from a military contractor.

Gursharan Kaur Sharon Rachael, 55, also faces two money-laundering charges involving the conversion of the cash bribes to pay for an insurance policy and an option to buy a condominium.

She was a lead contract specialist with the US Navy when she allegedly obtained five nights' stay at The Ritz-Carlton Bali , priced at $3,802, from Malaysian Leonard Glenn Francis, chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) (GDMA), as a reward to provide non-public US Navy information to him. The alleged offence was committed on Nov 30, 2006.

About a year later - on Dec 22 - she allegedly received a seven-night stay at Sheraton Jumeriah Beach Dubai priced at $7,061, paid by GDMA, for providing classified information to Francis.

The next day (Dec 23, 2007), Kaur is said to have obtained a three-night stay at The Ritz Carlton in Dubai, priced at $2,601, for providing non-public US Navy information to Francis.

She is alleged to have similarly obtained bribes in the form of a three-night stay at Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta in February 2011, and a week-long stay at St Regis Bali Resort in August 2011. They cost $1,836 and $14,978 respectively.

She also allegedly accepted two sums of cash bribes of $50,000 from Francis around December 2008 and on Feb 3, 2009.

Court documents say that she converted the cash sums she received to pay for an insurance policy on Feb 3, 2009, and an option to buy a condominium at Double Bay Residences on April 4, 2009.

Francis, 51, has since been arrested and convicted in a US court of various charges of bribery and conspiracy to defraud US.

Kaur's lawyer, Mr Suresh Damodara, will be making representations.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Jan 14.

Kaur, who is out on $50,000 bail, faces a fine of up to $100,000 and a jail term of up to five years on each corruption charge. The maximum penalty for the other two offences is a $500,000 fine and seven years' jail each.

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