U.S. Navy Admiral Gets 18 months in Massive Navy Bribery and Fraud Case
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau was sentenced recently to only 18 months in prison for lying to investigators to conceal his 20-year partnership with Leonard Glenn Francis (Fat Leonard), the owner of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a foreign defense contractor at the center of a major bribery and fraud scandal.
Gilbeau is the first admiral to be sentenced for crimes commited while in service.
GDMA provided the Navy with various ship husbanding services such as trash and sewage removal, food, water, security and fuel at inflated prices that cost American taxpayers at least an extra $35 million more than the services should have cost.
Prosecutors claim the corruption started in 1997 when Gilbeau served aboard the Boxer amphibious assault ship when Fat Leonard gave Gilbeau and another officer gifts of hotel rooms, dinners and prostitutes during a port visit to Bali.
The bribery started to be paid back when Gilbeau was the supply officer on the USS Nimitz, where he was responsible for procuring all goods and services necessary for operation of the ship. The corruption continued when he served as head of the Tsunami Relief Crisis Action Team in Singapore and was in charge of the Navy’s logistics response to the Southeast Asia tsunami in December 2004. In 2005, Gilbeau continued to ripoff taxpayers after he was assigned to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations as the head of aviation material support, establishing policies and requirements for budgeting and acquisitions for the Navy’s air forces. Despite his corruption, Gilbeau was promoted to admiral in 2010 and assumed command of the Defense Contract Management Agency International, where he was responsible for the global administration of DOD’S most critical contracts performed outside the United States.
Twenty current and former Navy officials have been charged so far in the fraud and bribery investigation. Of the 20 Navy officials, 10 have pleaded guilty, and 10 cases are pending. Five GDMA executives and the GDMA corporation itself have pleaded guilty.
U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino told Gilbeau, “You violated the law and dishonored your shipmates, the Navy and the United States of America.” Yet, she only gave him a slap on the wrist.