Ex-Naval attache admits securing clearances for bribes
A former U.S. Naval attache to the U.S. embassy in the Philippines illicitly secured diplomatic clearances for a Malaysian defense contractor in exchange for luxury watches and the services of prostitutes, pleading guilty to bribery charges Tuesday in the Navy’s worst corruption scandal.
Retried Navy Capt. Michael Brooks, 57, is the latest of nearly a dozen current and former Navy officials charged in the corruption case involving Leonard Francis, the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, or GDMA, whose company serviced Navy ships in Asia for 25 years and overbilled the maritime branch by nearly $35 million. Neither Brooks nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.
According to the plea agreement, Brooks, who served as the U.S. naval attache in Manila from 2006 to 2008, secured quarterly diplomatic clearances under the U.S. embassy for the vessels of Francis’ company to travel in and out of the Philippines without being subjected to inspections. It also limited the amount of taxes and customs fees the company had to pay.