Image courtesy of WikimediaU.S. Navy petty officer Daniel Layug pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday, admitting he accepted more than $10,000 in cash, travel expenses and gifts in exchange for providing classified information to a Singapore-based defense contractor.
Layug is the third defendant to plead guilty in a bribery scandal involving Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a firm that provides services to Navy ships at Asia-Pacific ports.
Layug was arrested in April. He pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery and now faces up to five years in prison when sentenced.
He admitted leaking information about the movements of Navy ships that would help Glenn Defense Marine Asia position itself for lucrative contracts to provide services to the ships. He also leaked price information about the Glenn’s competitors.
The central figure in the case, Leonard Glenn Francis, owner of GDMA, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed Layug and others and, in some cases, billed for services that were never rendered.
For more than two decades, Francis’ firm supplied water, fuel, food, garbage and waste removal, tugboats, fenders and other items for Navy ships. In 2010, U.S. officials began to suspect that some of the bills submitted by Francis’ firm were padded.
The bribery scheme led to the U.S. overpaying by more than $20 million for supplies and services, prosecutors said.
Layug received a $1,000 monthly allowance from Francis’ company, along with luxury hotel stays in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand, a camera and iPad3, according to his plea agreement.
“[Layug] compromised the integrity of his position and the safety of his shipmates,” said Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) director Andrew Traver.
Two men have already pleaded guilty in the case: Alex Wisidagama
, Francis’ cousin and a former executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and John Bertrand Beliveau
, a former senior agent with the NCIS. Neither has been sentenced.
Two Navy officers have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Commanders Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz
and Jose Luis Sanchez
are accused of receiving money, first-class travel arrangements, entertainment tickets and the services of prostitutes.
Like Layug, the officers were stationed in Japan and had access to inside information about the movement of ships.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Congress launched an investigation into the Naval bribery scandal earlier this year.
The DOJ’s May 20, 2014 release is here.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.