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Retired Navy Admiral Robert Burke indicted in alleged bribery scheme

adm. Retired four-star Marine Robert Burke was arrested Friday on charges that he took bribes in exchange for steering government contracts to a company that promised him a cushy job, according to the Justice Department.

Burke, who served as deputy chief of naval operations during part of the Trump administration, was the second-ranking Navy officer in the months before to take part in the alleged bribery scheme.

“As alleged in the indictment, Admiral Burke used his public office and four-star status for his own private gain,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said in a statement.

“The law makes no exceptions for admirals or general managers,” he added. “Those who pay and receive bribes must be held accountable.”

Burke faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. maritime executive

Burke, 62, is accused of accepting a $500,000 annual salary and an award of 100,000 stock options from his co-conspirators, Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, in exchange for his uses his position as a Navy admiral to steer a government contract to an entity named in the indictment as “Company A.”

Kim and Messenger — co-CEOs of “Company A” — reportedly contacted Burke several times between 2019 and 2022 about the status of a government contact, despite being warned by the Navy not to contact the admiral of four stars. Department of Justice.

Company A provided workforce training to a small component of the Navy between August 2018 and July 2019, before the company’s contract with the Navy was terminated at the end of 2019.

“Despite the Navy’s instructions, Kim and Messenger then allegedly met with Burke in Washington, DC in July 2021 in an effort to restore Company A’s business relationship with the Navy,” according to the DOJ.

Burke plans to plead not guilty to the charges. Navy Times

During that meeting, the trio agreed to employ the bribery scheme, which would have Burke use his influence with Marine officers to award a more lucrative contract to Company A before retiring and taking the default job with the company run by Kim. and Messenger.

Kim reportedly estimated the value of the future contract to be worth “three-figure millions.”

Burke is accused of ordering his staff to award a $355,000 contract to Company A — to train personnel under his command in Italy and Spain — and of further promoting Company A to a senior Navy admiral before his retirement.

The company did not end up getting another contract with the Navy.

“To conceal the scheme, Burke allegedly made several false and misleading statements to the Marines, including falsely appearing that Burke played no role in issuing the contract and falsely suggesting that Company A employment discussions with Burke had only begun several months after the contract was concluded. granted,” the DOJ said.

Burke, Kim and Messenger were each charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery.

Burke, 62, is accused of accepting a $500,000 annual salary and an award of 100,000 stock options from his co-conspirators. US Department of Defense

Burke is also accused of performing acts affecting a personal financial interest and concealing material facts from the United States.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

“I think a jury will sort this out,” Timothy Parlatore, Burke’s attorney, told The Associated Press.

Parlatore noted that the former admiral will plead not guilty and plans to clear his name at trial.

“There was no connection between this contract and his employment,” he added. “The math just doesn’t make sense that they would give them this relatively small contract for this type of job offer.”