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Ex-Navy Admiral Robert Burke Charged in $355,000 Bribery Scheme

James King, MPA
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Former U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Burke, who oversaw naval operations in Europe, Russia, and Africa from 2020 to 2022, has been charged with bribery and conspiracy in connection with a government contract. Burke, along with two business executives from a company known only as “Company A,” allegedly participated in a scheme where Burke would award a contract to the company in exchange for a lucrative post-retirement job.

Prosecutors allege that Burke met with the company’s executives, Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, in Washington, D.C., in 2021, despite the company having been ordered by naval officials not to contact him. During this meeting, the defendants allegedly agreed that Burke would use his influence to secure a $355,000 contract for the company to train Navy personnel, and in return, the company would hire Burke after his retirement with an annual salary of $500,000 and 100,000 stock options.

U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves emphasized the severity of the charges, stating, “The law does not make exceptions for admirals or CEOs. Those who pay and receive bribes must be held accountable. The urgency is at its greatest when, as here, senior government officials and senior executives are allegedly involved in the corruption.”


If convicted, Burke could face up to 30 years in prison, while Kim and Messenger each face up to 20 years. The case is being investigated by officers from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.