Lieutenant Commander Imprisoned for Bribes in Navy Scandal

A U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander was sentenced Friday to 40 months in prison for his role in a widespread bribery scandal that so far has involved nearly a dozen co-conspirators.

Todd Dale Malaki, 44, of Oxnard pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

When he was working as a supply officer for the Seventh Fleet he sent classified ship and submarine schedules to a Singapore-based businessman in exchange for envelopes of cash, hotel stays and prostitutes, according to court documents.

Malaki admitted to taking bribes starting in 2006 with a deluxe room at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. He twice accepted envelopes with Singapore dollars equivalent to $1,500 and the services of a prostitute after visiting a karaoke club in Malaysia.

In the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino said Malaki’s actions spanned more than seven years so they shouldn’t be treated as a momentary lapse in judgment.

She described Malaki’s case as “one of the most serious offenses the court has seen in its tenure in the Southern District of California."

“Lieutenant Commander Malaki betrayed his oath of office, failed to uphold the standards of selfless service, and threatened the security of Sailors when he sold U.S. Navy ship schedules for cash, hotel expenses, and the services of a prostitute," NCIS Director Andrew Traver said.

The second highest-ranking official in the U.S. Navy discussed the bribery scandal when he visited San Diego in August.

“We're just still in some cases the very early stages of this. We only know what we know about the GDMA,” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jon Greenert said referring to the company run by “Fat” Leonard Francis.

Court documents show that Francis and his company GDMA gave the co-conspirators – officials ranging from an NCIS investigator to a battleship commander – millions of dollars in gifts over 10 years beginning in 2004.

In exchange, Francis obtained classified information that allowed his firm to overbill the Navy at least $20 million for port services.

NBC 7 has been following this story since it was first revealed in September 2013.

"Fat" Leonard Francis pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Francis and his co-conspirators exchanged luxury travel, prostitutes, lavish meals, top-shelf alcohol, designer handbags, fountain pens, Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs and Cuban cigars for ship assignments and other confidential military information.

On Thursday, Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and bribery.

Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek admitted to one count of conspiracy of bribery after he was relieved of command on USS Bonhomme Richard.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez accepted a plea deal, in which he said he accepted $100,000 cash, entertainment, travel and prostitutes from Francis for proprietary Navy information.

Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Edmond A. Aruffo admitted to his role in the scandal in July 2014. He said he worked for GDMA and used letterhead from several Japanese vendors to send the Navy inflated invoices.

Alex Wisidagama, a GDMA company manager and Francis’ cousin, admitted in court to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government.

Senior Navy criminal investigator John Beliveau II said he used his law enforcement training to help Francis avoid detection. Francis paid him with envelopes of cash and travel to Virginia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

Commander of Carrier Strike Group 7 on USS Ronald Reagan Rear Admiral Michael Miller received a letter of censure along with Rear Admiral Terry Kraft, who was commanding officer on the same ship, and Rear Admiral David Pimpo, who once served as supply officer of the aircraft carrier. The letter is seen as a career-ending development for the officers.

Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison for accepting cash, travel and a “bucket list” of video games and gadgets from Francis.

Paul Simpkins, a former contracting officer for the Navy, has pleaded not guilty to alleged involvement.

Navy investigators and attorneys with the Department of Justice have said there are more targets involved in the bribery ring.

Malaki was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine and $15,000 in restitution to the Navy.

Malaki will report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on May 2, 2016.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us