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Friday
Feb132015

Three U.S. admirals ‘retire’ amid Glenn Marine bribery scandal

From left: Rear Adms. Mike Miller, Terry Kraft and David Pimpo.(Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy)Three rear admirals including the commander of naval forces in Japan are retiring after the secretary of the Navy censured them for a massive bribery scandal involving a Singapore-based contractor.

Naval Forces Japan commander Rear Adm. Terry Kraft and rear admirals Michael Miller and David Pimpo received censure letters from Secretary Ray Mabus. The letters were intended to “document their failure of leadership” for the handling of Glenn Defense Marine Asia between 2006 and 2007.

Glenn Marine and its owner, Leonard Glenn Francis, and six others have pleaded guilty as part of the investigation.

Defendants have admitted giving Francis and his company classified information about ship movements, including nuclear submarines, in exchange for luxury travel, cash, and the service of prostitutes.

Last week, a civilian formerly working for the U.S. Navy as a contracting supervisor in Asia was arrested for his role in the scandal.

Paul Simpkins, 60, of Haymarket, Virginia, helped Francis and his company land about $20 million in Navy contracts to supply ships at ports in Singapore and other countries in Asia, the DOJ said.

In a statement Tuesday, the Navy said: "These three officers were found to have improperly accepted gifts from a prohibited source, two were found to have improperly endorsed a commercial business, and one engaged in solicitation of gifts and services from a prohibited source, when they were deployed to the Seventh Fleet area of responsibility during the 2006-2007 timeframe."

The three admirals aren't facing criminal charges at this time.

Kraft commanded the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. Miller served as carrier strike group commander and was Kraft’s superior, Stars and Stripes said.

Pimpo was the carrier’s supply officer at the time. He now heads Naval Supply Systems Command’s weapons support department.

The admirals’ actions and overly familiar relationship with Francis “cultivated an unacceptable ethical climate within the respective commands,” the Navy said.

Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless are still under investigation for their roles with Glenn Marine. Neither has been charged.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.