Ex-Naval at­tache ad­mits se­cur­ing clear­ances for bribes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - KICKOFF -

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.

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