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Bribery scandal engulfs U.S. Navy; contractor traded inside data for hookers and Lady Gaga tickets

By George Chidi
Sunday, October 20, 2013 19:44 EDT
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This US Navy handout photo received in 2005 shows, sailors as they board an MH-53E Sea Dragon. A US Navy helicopter crashed on Thursday in Oman during a transport mission, and the fate of its five-member crew is unknown, the US military said, ruling out an attack. (AFP Photo/Travis M. Burns)
 
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A naval investigator and two senior naval officers have been arrested in connection with an unfolding bribery and corruption scandal in which a contractor traded money, prostitutes, travel and gifts in exchange for inside information and preferential access for his firm’s services.

The criminal complaint from the U.S. attorney of the southern district of California unsealed earlier this week accuses the CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., Leonard Glenn Francis, of paying U.S. Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II “with luxury travel and prostitutes in exchange for confidential information and other assistance in relation to hundreds of millions of dollars in Navy contracts.”

Misiewicz, described by Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock as a Navy commander who escaped Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’ as a child only to make a triumphant return to the country decades later as the skipper of a U.S. destroyer.” sent confidentially-classified information to the contractor including schedules reflecting the movements of Navy ships months in advance. Misiewicz also operated as an advocate within the Navy for the contractor’s interests, urging decisions about port visits and contractor usage that were designed to benefit Glenn Defense Marine.

“In return, Francis provided Misiewicz with paid travel, luxury hotel stays and prostitution services. To communicate with Francis privately, Misiewicz set up a special personal email account with a name that included Francis’s
initials.”

The Post story describes some of the favors Francis provided Misiewicz, including concert tickets and female escorts for Misiewicz and four co-workers to attend the Lady Gaga concert in Thailand, and paid for shore leave in Singapore and other cities, according to court records.

In return, the contractor was allegedly able to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in port services to the U.S. Navy at inflated prices.

In a separate complaint, the federal prosecutor accuses Beliveau of tipping off Francis to the criminal fraud investigation with confidential information by secretly downloading reports from the NCIS database. “Beliveau also allegedly provided Francis guidance as to how to deal with NCIS inquiries. In exchange, Francis provided Beliveau with, among other things, paid travel, luxury hotel stays and prostitution services.”

 
 
 
 
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