A major bribery scandal involving an Asian military contractor has led to four arrests, including two top U.S. Navy officers – one of whom was adopted out of Cambodia as a child and who returned to the country nearly four decades later commanding a Navy destroyer.
In addition, a Navy captain was released from the command of his ship in Japan as a result of the investigation, The Washington Post reports
The huge overbilling scheme uncovered by federal authorities involved a Singapore-based defense contractor, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and included prostitutes and such kickbacks as tickets to a Lady Gaga concert for one of the Navy officers and his four co-workers in Thailand in 2011.
“The allegations described in this complaint describe a bribery case with all the sexy elements of a TV drama,” Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California in San Diego, told the Post. “But the significance of the case is that it involves huge sums of money, a wide range of players, a long period of time and a number of countries.”
An investigation is continuing, Duffy said. The arrests occurred last month, the Post reports.
According to federal prosecutors, Glenn Defense Marine has serviced and supplied Navy ships and submarines at ports in the Pacific Ocean for 25 years. Since 2011 alone, the company has received Navy contracts valued at more than $200 million.
Glenn Defense Marine allegedly overbilled the Navy regularly for all of its services, prosecutors contend.
The Navy officers arrested were Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, a Naval Academy graduate, and John Beliveau II, the supervisory agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in Quantico, Va.
In addition, Capt. Daniel Dusek has been relieved of his commandership of the USS Bonhomme Richard due to the investigation, the Post reports. He has not been charged.
Authorities apprehended Glenn Defense Marine's CEO, Leonard Glenn Francis, and the company's general manager for global government contracts, Alex Wisidagama. They were arrested in San Diego, having been lured there under the pretense of meeting with Navy officials, according to court documents.
Francis is accused of seeking inside information on Navy ship deployments and of pressuring at least one top commander to send aircraft carriers and other vessels to ports so the Navy could be overcharged by Glenn Defense Marine for its services.
The CEO also allegedly provided Misiewicz, who was adopted by a U.S. Embassy worker in Cambodia when he was 6 and reared in Illinois, with female escorts and tickets to the March 2011 Gaga concert in Thailand, according to prosecutors.
In December 2010, Misiewicz, a married father of four, returned to Vietnam in as commander of the USS Mustin. Authorities arrested him for being “someone who might be susceptible to providing favor . . . in return for things of value,” according to court documents.
In addition, Beliveau was charged with providing confidential information to Glenn Defense Marine's Francis about pending criminal investigations by NCIS into the company from March 2011 until not long before both were arrested.
Since 2010, NCIS had investigated Glenn Defense Marine multiple times — with none of the inquiries resulting in charges until last month. The Navy last month terminated three contracts totaling $200 million with the Singapore-based company, the Post reports.
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