YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Yokosuka sailor was arrested and then arraigned Thursday on bribery charges in San Diego, for his accused role in the Navy’s widening Asia-Pacific scandal over the trade of classified information in exchange for cash and gifts.
Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Layug, 27, last assigned to Yokosuka’s Fleet Logistics Center, is the fourth Navy official and first enlisted sailor to be arrested as part of the investigation of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a contractor that has provided port services to Navy ships for more than 25 years.
GDMA owner Leonard Glenn Francis, known to associates as “Fat Leonard,” and another GDMA officer have also been arrested since last year under allegations that they provided cash, prostitutes and other gifts to Navy officials in exchange for classified information.
Layug appeared in federal court and was released on a $100,000 bond, subject to GPS monitoring, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
Layug accepted a monthly $1,000 salary, cutting edge electronics and luxury arrangements at foreign port visits for himself and other sailors in exchange for classified information that GDMA used to overcharge the Navy, an April 15 court complaint alleged.
Layug first began sending classified ship schedules, sometimes referred to as “golfing schedules,” to GDMA employees in 2010, when Layug served aboard the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge. The following year, he helped arrange fuel replenishments for ship visiting Thailand and Russia, according to the court complaint.
Court documents allege that GDMA overbilled the Navy by millions of dollars for fuel at various “pearl ports,” where GDMA had favorable connections.
Layug later sent pricing information for a competitor to GDMA, then followed up in an email with a question: “What are the chances of getting the new Ipad 3? Let me know,” according to court documents. Messages between a GDMA officer and Francis confirmed that they would purchase the Apple iPad for Layug, according to the court complaint.
By late 2012, GDMA agreed to pay Layug $1,000 per month, according to court documents.
Layug received his payments in envelopes full of cash, often providing ship schedules upon receipt, according to the court complaint.
Soon after he began receiving the cash, Layug’s wife opened a bank account for their 9-month-old daughter at Navy Federal Credit Union. Within a few months, Layug’s daughter had more than $3,000 to her name, according to credit union records cited in the complaint.
Layug’s wife was aware of GDMA’s payments, openly discussing them in an email to Layug’s official Navy email account, the complaint alleged. She has not been charged in the case.
In 2013, Layug asked GDMA for luxury accommodations for four other enlisted sailors at port visits in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea, according to court documents. He also asked for new cameras, phones and computers before sending classified Navy ship schedules, according to court documents.
Layug’s arrest marks the first time since the GDMA scandal broke in September 2013 that a lower level sailor has been implicated.
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, a captain-select who commanded USS Mustin, and later served as deputy operations officer aboard the USS Blue Ridge for the Yokosuka-based U.S. 7th Fleet, was the first Navy officer arrested. Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez has also been charged.
Vice Adm. Ted Branch, Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless and former USS Bonhomme Richard commander Capt. Daniel Dusek are all under investigation in relation to the scandal but have not been charged, Navy officials have stated. The allegations leveled at the two admirals involve “inappropriate conduct” prior to their current ranks, officials said in December.
On December 17, 2013, Naval Criminal Investigative Service supervisory special agent John Bertrand Beliveau II, 44, pleaded guilty to bribery charges for regularly tipping off Francis to the status of the government’s investigation into GDMA.