Navy Officer Pleads Not Guilty in Contractor Bribery Case

A U.S. Navy officer pleaded not guilty to charges that he had a role in a bribery scheme in which a Singapore-based contractor admitted plying Navy officials with cash, gifts and prostitutes in exchange for classified information about where ships were scheduled to dock.

U.S. Navy Captain-Select Michael Misiewicz, 47, entered his plea Friday in federal court in San Diego after being indicted last week for conspiracy and seven counts of bribery.

The contractor at the center of the case, Leonard Glenn Francis, chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine (Asia), on Thursday became the seventh person to admit wrongdoing in the case. A U.S. Navy captain, a commander and two other officials have pleaded guilty, along with two of Francis’s employees.

As prosecutors continue to investigate, the corruption scandal ranks among the worst for the U.S. armed forces in 25 years. Congress passed the Procurement Integrity Act in 1988 in response to an investigation into fraud in the defense contracting industry known as “Operation Ill Wind.” By 1991, that investigation had resulted in 52 convictions, the Justice Department said at the time.

Glenn Defense Marine worked with the U.S. Navy for 25 years, providing hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services for American ships in at least a dozen countries in Asia, according to court filings.

Francis, 50, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the government. He faces as long as 25 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino allowed Misiewicz, who appeared at Friday’s arraignment hearing dressed in civilian clothes, to remain free on a $100,000 bond.

Misiewicz provided Francis with Navy schedules and other classified information to help Glenn Defense Marine win business, federal prosecutors said.

The case is U.S. v. Misiewicz, 15-cr-00033, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California (San Diego).

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