A former government contracts manager at Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine, whose chief executive officer is accused of bribing a U.S. Navy commander with cash and prostitutes, will plead guilty, according to a court filing and a federal prosecutor.
Alex Wisidagama, the company’s ex-general manager of government contracts, initially pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to overcharge the Navy for servicing ships and submarines. He will change his plea on March 18, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Huie in San Diego said by phone today. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for that afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan Adler, according to a court filing.
A U.S. Navy commander, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and the head of Glenn Defense Marine, which has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services for American ships in at least a dozen countries in Asia, have been charged by federal prosecutors with taking part in a bribery-kickback scheme involving prostitutes
Leonard Glenn Francis, who ran Glenn Defense, paid for travel, entertainment and prostitutes for Navy Commander Michael Misiewicz in exchange for classified information about where U.S. ships would come to port and his recommendation that ships visit ports preferred by Francis, prosecutors said in a complaint.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in December, saying he leaked the names of cooperating witnesses and plans for future investigative steps to Francis in return for cash and prostitutes.
Glenn Defense Marine held Navy contracts for 25 years, with the most recent awarded in June 2011 to provide services to ships and submarines in Southeast Asia, the U.S. said. The company’s services include providing tugboats, fenders, customs fees, food, fuel, water and trash removal.
Wisidagama submitted fraudulent quotes for fuel and services to win the contract and charge the Navy inflated prices, federal prosecutors said in charging documents.
“We are talking to the government about ways to resolve the case,” Knut Johnson, Wisidigama’s attorney, said by phone earlier today. He didn’t immediately respond an e-mail seeking comment after the change-of-plea notice was posted in the court’s online docket for the case.
The case is U.S. v Wisidagama, 13-4043, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).
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