A Singapore-based defense contractor and its top executive last week pleaded guilty to federal bribery and fraud charges in a massive scandal involving tens of millions of dollars and “scores” of Navy officials, Justice Department officials said.
“We will continue our efforts to root out those involved in this long-running corruption scheme, both inside and outside the Navy,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell in the release.
Federal officials said the scheme dates back over a decade and the investigation has netted a total of six former and current Navy officials.
Fifty-year-old Leonard Glenn Francis, owner and CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which supplied and serviced Navy ships in Asia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The company also admitted to the same charges. He was arrested in September 2013.
As part of the plea agreements, Francis, who is a Malaysian national, and the company have agreed to forfeit $35 million and pay full restitution to the Navy, which will be determined at an April 3 sentencing hearing.
According to the press release, Francis admitted he and the company gave Navy officials millions of dollars in gifts and expenses in exchange for confidential information, including ship schedules. His company also received preferential treatment in the contracting process.
Federal officials said the bribes and gifts included more than $500,000 in cash, hundreds of thousands of dollars in prostitution services, first-class airfare, luxurious hotel rooms and spa treatments, and lavish meals. They also included Cuban cigars, designer handbags, watches, fountain pens, designer furniture, electronics, ornamental swords and hand-made ship models, the release said.
Additionally, Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, 47, last week pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He is also scheduled for sentencing April 3. He was deputy director of operations for the 7th Fleet in Japan and later was commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard and the executive officer of the USS Essex.
Dusek said he either hand delivered Navy ship schedules to the company’s office in Japan or emailed them to Francis or a company employee dozens of times. The officer also admitted to helping direct Naval ships to the company’s port terminals.
In exchange, Dusek said he received meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, luxury hotel rooms and prostitutes, the press release said.
Dusek is the highest ranking of five present and former Navy officials to plead guilty in the case so far, Justice officials said.