Former Defense Department employee arrested in Navy bribery scheme

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SAN DIEGO — Federal prosecutors in San Diego announced Tuesday the arrest of a former high-ranking civilian contracting officer for the U.S. Navy for his alleged role in a bribery scheme designed to steer contracts and benefits to a defense contracting firm in Singapore.

Paul Simpkins, 60, was arraigned in Virginia and prosecutors are seeking to have him brought to San Diego to face a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery.

“With the arrest of Paul Simpkins, who was recently among the Defense Department’s high-ranking civilians, we have uncovered yet another tentacle of this pervasive bribery scheme,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The more we learn about the extent of the greed and corruption, the more determined we are to eviscerate it.”

Simpkins is the latest person to be arrested in connection with the corruption probe involving the U.S. Navy, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and its owner, “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis. To date, seven individuals, including Francis, and GDMA have pleaded guilty.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed today, Simpkins held several manager-level contracting positions through the federal government from 2005 to 2012.

The complaint alleges that between May 2006 and September 2012, Simpkins accepted several hundred thousand dollars in cash and wire transfers, travel, entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes.

In return, he allegedly helped steer lucrative U.S. Navy contracts to Francis and GDMA, advocated for and advanced the interests of GDMA in contract disputes, and assisted in preventing GDMA’s competitors from receiving U.S. Navy business.

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