A retired U.S. Navy captain who secretly edited documents and wrote emails for a defense contractor who was defrauding the Navy pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conflict of interest.
Jeffrey Breslau, 52, of Cumming, Georgia, entered his plea in federal court in San Diego.
While he was serving in the Navy as spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Breslau took $65,000 in “consulting fees” from Leonard Glenn Francis.
Francis’ company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, provided port services to Navy ships across Asia.
Breslau helped Francis deal with problems, such as “the unauthorized dumping of waste, disputes with competitors, and issues with Pacific Fleet and contracting personnel,” the DOJ said.
Although serving as a Navy captain, Breslau “authored, reviewed or edited at least 33 separate documents; authored at least 135 emails providing advice to Francis; provided at least 14 instances of ‘talking points’ in advance of meetings between Francis and high ranking U.S. Navy personnel; and ‘ghostwrote’ numerous emails on Francis’s behalf to be transmitted to U.S. Navy personnel,” the DOJ said.
Francis, 54, pleaded guilty in 2015 to directing a decade-long conspiracy involving scores of U.S. Navy officials. In exchange for millions of dollars in bribes, the officials helped Francis win Navy contracts and overcharge for his company’s services.
As part of his plea deal, Francis forfeited $35 million and agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Also Tuesday, a former U.S. Navy master chief was jailed for taking bribes from Francis.
Retired Master Chief Ricarte Icmat David, 62, of Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines, was sentenced to seventeen months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $30,000.
In return for five star hotel rooms during port visits, David allowed Francis and his company to inflate invoices to include services never provided.
So far, 33 defendants — many of them from the top ranks of the Navy’s Pacific command — have been charged in the massive corruption scandal.
Twenty-two have pleaded guilty.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.