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Singaporean pleads guilty in U.S. Navy bribery scandal

A Singapore citizen formerly employed by Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States for his role in a scheme to overbill the U.S. Navy for husbanding services.

Alex Wisidagama was the general manager of global government contracts for GDMA. The business was owned and operated by his cousin, Leonard Glenn Francis.

The Department of Justice announced the guilty plea Tuesday.

Singapore-based GDMA provided the U.S. Navy with hundreds of millions of dollars in food, fuel and other supplies and services.

Wisidagama was arrested in California in September 2013.

He and others overbilled the Navy for fuel and inflated bills for port tariffs.

GDMA's owner, Leonard Glenn Francis, was arrested last year. He was charged in federal court in San Diego with providing an NCIS agent with travel, entertainment, prostitutes and other favors in return for information about an ongoing NCIS investigation into his company.

In September, the U.S. government debarred GDMA and terminated nine contracts the company had with the Navy worth $205 million.

Wisidagama's plea is the second in a massive investigation into alleged fraud and bribery by GDMA and several U.S. Navy officers and personnel.

In mid-December, former NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. He admitted providing Francis with sensitive law enforcement information in exchange for cash, travel accommodations, lavish dinners, and prostitutes. 

Wisidagama's sentencing is set for June 13, 2014, before Judge Sammartino of the Southern District of California.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.