Navy petty officer admits accepting bribe from Singapore company

Navy petty officer admits accepting bribe from Singapore company
The Blue Ridge, command ship of the Japan-based 7th Fleet, is one of the U.S. ships that was redirected to certain ports to help a Singapore defense contractor as part of a bribery scandal, according to U.S. prosecutors. (U.S. Navy)

A Navy petty officer pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to accepting more than $10,000 in cash, travel expenses and electronic "gadgets" in exchange for providing classified information to a Singapore-based defense contractor.

Petty Officer 1st-class Daniel Layug, 27, is the third defendant to plead guilty in a bribery scandal involving Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a firm that for decades provided services to Navy ships at Asia-Pacific ports.


Layug pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery. He faces up to five years in prison when sentenced.

In his plea bargain, he admitted leaking information about the movements of Navy ships that would help Glenn Defense Marine Asia position itself to get lucrative contracts to provide services to the ships. He also leaked price information about the firm's competitors.

The central figure in the case, Leonard Glenn Francis, 49, owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he bribed Layug and others and that his company padded its bills and in some cases billed for services that were never rendered.

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-a-month allowance from Francis' company, along with luxury hotel stays in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand, according to the plea bargain.

At one point, according to prosecutors, Layug emailed a Glenn Defense executive asking, "What are the chances of getting the new iPad3? Please let me know."

He received the iPad3, according to the plea bargain.

When Layug received a camera, prosecutors said, he emailed his thanks to a Glenn Defense executive, "The camera is awesome bro! Thanks a lot! Been a while since i had a new gadget!"

Layug "compromised the integrity of his position and the safety of his shipmates," said Naval Criminal Investigative Service director Andrew Traver.

Two men have pleaded guilty in the case: Alex Wisidagama, 40, Francis' cousin and a former executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and John Bertrand Beliveau, 44, a onetime senior agent with the NCIS. Neither has been sentenced.

Two Navy officers have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, and Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, 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 were privy to inside  information about the movement of ships.

There are no allegations that the two officers, Layug or the NCIS agent knew the bills submitted by Francis' firm were padded or fraudulent, prosecutors said.


Among the ships that were rerouted at Francis' request were two carriers and the 7th Fleet command ship Blue Ridge, according to prosecutors.

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, Navy officials became suspicious that some of the bills submitted by  Francis' firm from Thailand were padded.

Amid the scandal, the Navy has canceled all contracts with the firm.