Navy officer admits taking bribes; eighth defendant to plead guilty

Navy officer admits taking bribes; eighth defendant to plead guilty
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain prepares to moor in Yokosuka, Japan. (MC3 Christian Senyk / U.S. Navy)

A Navy officer Wednesday admitted taking bribes to leak classified information -- the eighth defendant to plead guilty in a scandal involving ships in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki admitted that he was given cash, hotel accommodations and the services of a prostitute in exchange for providing information about the movements of ships to the owner of a Singapore-based firm that provided in-port services.


Malaki, 44, of San Diego, faces a possible five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced in San Diego federal court July 6.

The figure at the center of the scandal, Leonard Glenn Francis, has pleaded guilty to bribing Navy officers and civilians with cash, hotel and air reservations, entertainment tickets, furniture and other gifts, and the services of prostitutes. He was known for throwing lavish parties for officers at his Singapore mansion.

Prosecutors say the scandal cost taxpayers more than $20 million in padded or fictitious bills submitted by Francis' firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, for services rendered to Navy ships.

Also pleading guilty have been a Navy captain, a commander, a retired lieutenant commander, an enlisted sailor, an ex-Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and a cousin of Francis' who worked for his company.

All await sentencing in federal court.

Also, three admirals were censured in January by the secretary of the Navy for "poor judgment and a failure of leadership" and were forced into retirement.

The officers, all rear admirals, are: Michael Miller, who was the commander of Carrier Strike Group 7 and recently was a special assistant to the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy; Terry Kraft, who was commander of the carrier Ronald Reagan and recently commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan; and David Pimpo, who was supply officer aboard the Reagan and recently commander of Naval Supply Systems Command, Weapons Systems Support.

Nothing in the Navy statement about their censure suggests the three admirals will face criminal charges.

The three "improperly accepted gifts from a prohibited source," including dinners, and two of the admirals "improperly endorsed a commercial business" when deployed to the Japan-based 7th Fleet, the Navy said.

For more than two decades, Francis' firm supplied water, fuel, food, garbage and waste removal, tugboats, fenders and other items for Navy ships. Amid the scandal, the Navy has canceled all contracts with the firm.

Malaki was a supply officer with access to classified information. By tipping Francis to where and when ships would pull into port, Francis was able to beat his competitors to lucrative contracts providing services to the ships.

One of the ships was the destroyer John S. McCain, according to court documents. The ship is named for a father and son, both admirals.

Malaki was given luxury accommodations in hotels in Singapore, Hong Kong and the island of Tonga, as well as envelopes of cash. The value of the bribes given to Malaki was estimated at $15,000, according to prosecutors.

When Francis and Malaki were at a karaoke bar in Port Klang, Malaysia, Malaki requested that Francis provide him with a prostitute, according to court documents.