| SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO May 20 A U.S. Navy petty officer
charged in a wide-ranging corruption investigation of a
Singapore-based defense contractor pleaded guilty on Tuesday to
conspiracy to commit bribery in a case in federal court in
California, prosecutors said.
Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug admitted accepting
gifts of cash, electronics and luxury hotel stays in exchange
for providing information on Navy ship schedules to Glenn
Defense Marine Asia, the company at the center of the scandal.
Layug, 27, was stationed in Japan and worked in ship
logistics when he accepted the gifts, which included payments of
$1,000 a month plus expensive gadgets including iPhones and a
Wii game set.
"Every service member is entrusted with the enormous
responsibility of protecting this country at all costs," U.S.
Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. "Because of his greed,
Daniel Layug fell woefully short of this high calling, and this
guilty plea holds him accountable for a painful betrayal."
The company's CEO, Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn
Francis, is charged in the high-profile case with plying Navy
officials with cash, concert tickets, prostitutes and other
gifts to win business.
The complaints against Francis allege that he directed a
scheme to defraud the Navy by bribing military officials to
steer ships into harbors where his company would provide ship
husbandry - a range of services from cleaning, restocking and
refueling to shepherding Navy personnel during their port stay.
Francis, the complaints allege, would then inflate the
charges for those services and demand kickbacks from his
U.S. Navy Commander Michael Misiewicz and Navy criminal
investigations special agent John Beliveau were arrested last
September in the case, at the same time as Francis, and charged
with conspiracy to commit bribery.
Commander Jose Luis Sanchez was arrested and charged in
November with accepting prostitutes, luxury travel and $100,000
in cash from Francis. Glenn Defense executive Alex Wisidagama,
of Singapore, was also charged in the scandal. He and Beliveau
have since pleaded guilty.
Two other high-level Navy officers - a vice admiral and a
rear admiral - have been placed on leave, and a captain was
removed from the command of an assault ship in connection with
the investigation, but they have not been charged.
Layug faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison
followed by three years of parole and a $250,000 fine, according
to the plea agreement. His sentencing is set for Sept. 2 in
federal court in San Diego.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Ken Wills)