Yokosuka sailor is 3rd man to plead guilty in Navy bribery scandal
By ERIK SLAVIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 21, 2014
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Yokosuka sailor pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Monday to a bribery charge, making him the third man to be convicted in a classified information-for-gifts scandal involving an Asia-Pacific Navy contractor.
Petty Officer 1st Class Dan Layug, 27, made the plea bargain on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery after prosecutors agreed to drop additional bribery counts. He admitted to accepting cash, travel perks and high-end electronics in exchange for funneling ship schedules and other data to Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
A GDMA employee in Japan paid Layug $1,000 each month for his help. Layug asked for and received cameras, computers and other equipment from GDMA well, according to email traffic cited in court documents.
Layug faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 2.
Layug first began sending classified information while working as a storekeeper and government purchase card program coordinator aboard USS Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet flagship based in Yokosuka. He continued the relationship through 2013 after transferring to Yokosuka’s Fleet Logistics Center, where he administrated logistics requests for 7th Fleet vessels.
Layug helped arrange fuel and supply replenishments at ports in the Pacific where GDMA could overbill the Navy by millions of dollars for services, according to court documents.
He also provided proprietary information on competitor bids, giving GDMA an unfair advantage, the documents said.
Layug becomes the second Navy official to plead guilty.
On Dec. 17, 2013, Naval Criminal Investigative Service supervisory special agent John Bertrand Beliveau II, 44, pleaded guilty to bribery charges for regularly tipping off GDMA owner Leonard Glenn Francis to the status of the government’s investigation into GDMA.
Francis, also known by the nickname “Fat Leonard,” was arrested last year but has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges. Leonard’s cousin and co-worker, Alex Wisidagama, pleaded guilty to a bribery charge in March.
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, a captain-select who commanded USS Mustin, and later served as deputy operations officer aboard USS Blue Ridge, was the first Navy officer arrested for his alleged role in the bribery ring.
Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez has also been charged. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.
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.