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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Four Navy Officers of Bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher (619) 546-9714, Michelle Wasserman (619) 546-8431, Valerie Chu (619) 546-6750, and David Chu (619) 546-8266


SAN DIEGO – Former U.S. Navy Captains David Newland, James Dolan and David Lausman and former Commander Mario Herrera – all of whom once served in the Navy’s Seventh Fleet - were convicted on all counts by a federal jury today of accepting bribes from foreign defense contractor Leonard Francis. The jury did not reach a verdict on the charges against Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless.

Nine members of the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet – including the four defendants convicted today - were indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2017.  Four other defendants pleaded guilty before trial.

During the trial, three U.S. Navy officials – Commander Stephen Shedd, former Lieutenant Commander Edmond A. Aruffo, and U.S. Navy Captain Jesus Vasquez Cantu – and former Lieutenant Commander Alexander Bryan Gillett of the Royal Australian Navy, testified about the alleged bribery scheme.

This long-running fraud and bribery investigation has resulted in federal criminal charges against 34 U.S. Navy officials, defense contractors and the GDMA corporation. Twenty-nine previously pleaded guilty. With today’s four convictions, 33 defendants have now been convicted of various fraud and corruption offenses.

U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino set a status hearing for July 21, 2022, at 2 p.m. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 11, 2022, at 9 a.m.

DEFENDANTS                  Case Number: 17CR0623-JLS

Captain David Newland                                 Age 60                        San Antonio, Texas

Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Seventh Fleet

Captain James Dolan                                      Age 58                        Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics for the Seventh Fleet

Captain David Lausman                                 Age 62                        The Villages, Florida

Commanding Officer of U.S.S. Blue Ridge; Commanding Officer of U.S.S. George Washington

Commander Mario Herrera                            Age 48                        Helotes, Texas

Fleet Operations and Schedules Officer for the Seventh Fleet


Conspiracy to Commit Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371

Maximum Penalty: Five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss, whichever is greater

*All defendants

Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201

Maximum Penalty: Fifteen years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or gross pecuniary loss from the offense, or three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater

*All defendants

Obstruction of Justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519

Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison, a $250,000 fine


Conspiracy to Commit Honest Services Wire Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349, 1346, 1343

Maximum Penalty: Twenty years in prison, a $250,000 fine

*All defendants


Defense Criminal Investigative Service

Naval Criminal Investigative Service

Defense Contract Audit Agency

Updated June 29, 2022

Public Corruption
Press Release Number: CAS22-0629-Newland