Skip to main content

Navy Commander Pleads Guilty In Bribery Case

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

In this file photo from Dec. 3, 2010, Cmdr. Michael V. Misiewicz, then commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin, is greeted by members of his family as Mustin arrives in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

A U.S. Navy commander pleaded guilty in San Diego on Thursday to federal conspiracy and bribery charges for giving classified ship schedules — including those that contained information related to the U.S. Navy's ballistic missile defense operations in the Pacific — to a foreign defense contractor in exchange for cash, gifts and prostitutes.

Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 48, was indicted a year ago in the case involving defense contractor Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard'' Francis. Misiewicz is scheduled to be sentenced April 29.

According to his plea agreement, Misiewicz provided classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and other sensitive Navy information to Francis, the CEO and owner of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, from January 2011 until September 2013.

GDMA provided husbanding services such as tugboats, fuel and trash removal services for U.S. Navy ships and submarines when they arrived at ports throughout the Pacific.

Misiewicz admitted that he used his position and influence in the U.S. Navy to advance the interests of GDMA, including by providing Francis with classified ship schedules and other proprietary information.

In return, Francis gave him cash, paid for luxury travel on at least eight occasions for Misiewicz, his mother, brother and children to the Philippines, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Cambodia, Singapore and the United States, provided his wife with a designer handbag, and plied Misiewicz with the services of prostitutes on multiple occasions.

Misiewicz admitted that he and his co-conspirators took steps to avoid detection by law enforcement, by, among other things, using clandestine email accounts, which they periodically deleted.

"Commander Misiewicz provided information to a foreign contractor that, in the wrong hands, could've had a devastating impact on national security,'' said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

"By giving in to greed, he put his Navy shipmates and fellow Americans in harm's way,'' she said. "This guilty plea is an important step in ensuring that all those who violated their duty of trust to the United States in this affair are held accountable.''

So far, nine people have been charged in the case. Of those, eight have pleaded guilty, including Misiewicz, Capt. Daniel Dusek, Cmdr. Jose Sanchez, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug; as well as GDMA's Francis and GDMA employee Alex Wisidigama.

Former Department of Defense civilian employee Paul Simpkins is awaiting trial.

Layug was sentenced last week to 27 months in prison. The other defendants have yet to be sentenced.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.