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Retired U.S. Navy Captain Pleads Guilty in ‘Fat Leonard' Bribery Case

Sixteen individuals have been charged in the case so far, 11 of whom are current or former U.S. Navy officials

Another naval official had pleaded guilty in a multi-million dollar bribery case involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, also known as "Fat Leonard."

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Michael Brooks, 57, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

According to his plea agreement, Brooks used his office to benefit Francis’ company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA). The company, based in Singapore, provided husbanding services to U.S. Navy ships and submarines, such as fuel, tugboats and trash removal.

While serving as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, Brooks admitted to allowing Francis to write up official U.S. Navy documents, which he then submitted to the embassy as his own. In exchange, Francis bribed Brooks with travel and entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and prostitute services.

In January 2015, "Fat Leonard" pleaded guilty to bribing senior naval officials in exchange for specific U.S. Navy warship movements so his company could overbill the Pentagon.

Sixteen individuals have been charged in the case so far, 11 of whom are current or former U.S. Navy officials, including Brooks—he was charged in May, 2016. 

He retired from the Navy in 2011.

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Rear Admiral Robert J. Gilbeau is the highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to have been charged in the case so far. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge in June, 2016.

Gilbeau is also believed to be the first active-duty Naval flag officer to ever be charged in a federal criminal court, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego. He is still awaiting his sentence.

Five GDMA executives have also been charged in the case, including Neil Peterson and Linda Raja.

If convicted, Brooks faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

NBC 7 has been following this investigation since September 2013.

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