Retired U.S. Navy captain pleads guilty to role in bribery scheme

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SAN DIEGO — A retired U.S. Navy captain pleaded guilty in San Diego Tuesday to his role in a massive bribery and fraud scheme involving a Singapore-based defense contractor.

Retired Navy Capt. Michael Brooks, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, was federally charged in May in connection with his interactions with Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis, the former CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Brooks, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 17.

Brooks served as the U.S. Naval Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Manila from June 2006 to July 2008.

In exchange for travel, entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes, Brooks used his office to benefit GDMA and Francis by securing quarterly diplomatic clearances for GDMA vessels, which allowed those vessels to transmit into and out of the Philippines under the diplomatic clearance of the U.S. Embassy, according to admissions made in his plea agreement.

Brooks also allowed Francis to ghostwrite official U.S. Navy documents and correspondence, which Brooks submitted as his own, prosecutors said.

Brooks also provided Francis with sensitive, internal U.S. Navy information, including billing information belonging to a GDMA competitor and U.S. Navy ship schedules.

So far, a total of 16 people have been charged in connection with the GDMA corruption and fraud investigation, and 13 of them, including Francis, have pleaded guilty.

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