Former U.S. Naval Attaché and Military Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador in the Philippines Sentenced for Taking Bribes

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Retired U.S. Navy Captain was sentenced in federal court today to 41 months in prison for his role in a massive bribery and fraud scheme involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his firm, Singapore-based, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson Southern District of California, Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and Director Andrew Traver of the NCIS made the announcement.

In addition to the 41-month prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino ordered Michael Brooks, 59, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, to pay a $41,000 fine and $31,000 in restitution to the U.S. Navy.  Brooks pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Brooks, who served as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, from 2006 to 2008, has admitted accepting bribes of travel and entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes. In return, Brooks admitted that he used his power and influence to benefit GDMA and Francis, including by securing quarterly clearances for GDMA vessels, which allowed GDMA vessels to transit into and out of the Philippines under the diplomatic imprimatur of the U.S. Embassy. Neither GDMA nor any other defense contractor has ever been granted such unfettered clearances.

Brooks admitted that he also allowed Francis to ghostwrite official U.S. Navy documents and correspondence, which Brooks submitted as his own. For example, Brooks admitted allowing GDMA to complete its own contractor performance evaluations. A November 2007 evaluation, drafted by GDMA and submitted by Brooks, described the company’s performance as “phenomenal,” “unsurpassed,” “exceptional” and “world class.” Brooks also admitted providing Francis with sensitive, internal U.S. Navy information, including U.S. Navy ship schedules and billing information belonging to a GDMA competitor, at times using a private Yahoo! e-mail account to mask his illicit acts.

Twenty-one current and former Navy officials have been charged so far in the fraud and bribery investigation; 10 have pleaded guilty and 10 cases are pending. In addition, five GDMA executives and GDMA the corporation have pleaded guilty.

NCIS, DCIS and DCAA are conducting the ongoing investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher and Patrick Hovakimian of the Southern District of California and Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information relating to fraud, corruption or waste in government contracting should contact the NCIS anonymous tip line at or the DOD Hotline at, or call (800) 424-9098.

U.S. Seeks to Recover $12.5 Million Obtained from High-Level Corruption in the Philippines

The Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture complaint today seeking to recover approximately $12.5 million in assets found in the United States that derive from bribery and kickback schemes in the Philippines spanning nearly a decade.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.

“Over nearly a decade, Janet Napoles allegedly stole millions of dollars in funds entrusted to her for development assistance and disaster relief for the people of the Philippines,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “In an effort to disguise and enjoy her ill-gotten gains, Napoles purchased properties and other assets in the United States for herself and her family members, including a condominium at the Ritz and a Porsche.  The Justice Department will not allow the United States to become a playground for the corrupt or a place to hide and invest stolen riches.”

“The FBI is committed to ensuring that the U.S. financial system is not used to launder the proceeds of foreign bribery schemes,” said Assistant Director in Charge Bowdich.  “Nor is the United States a safe haven for the fruits of corruption.”

As alleged in the complaint, from approximately 2004 to 2012, Philippine businesswoman Janet Napoles, 51, paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to Philippine politicians and other government officials in exchange for over $200 million in funding for purported development assistance and disaster relief.  Napoles’ non-governmental organizations (NGOs), however, then either failed to provide, or under-delivered on, the promised support.  The complaint further alleges that Napoles also diverted NGO funds for her own personal use and benefit, often draining accounts within days of government disbursements.  For this conduct, the Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman has charged Napoles, two of her children and numerous current and former Philippine politicians and other government officials in connection with what has been nicknamed the “pork barrel scam.”

The complaint alleges that Napoles transferred over $12 million in Philippine government-awarded funds to bank accounts in the United States in the names of, or controlled by, her family members.  According the complaint, Napoles used the money to purchase numerous assets, including a condominium at the Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles for her 21-year-old daughter.  The complaint seeks to forfeit the proceeds from the sale of the Los Angeles condominium, along with several other assets, including a motel near Disneyland in Anaheim, California; properties in Covina and Irvine, California; a 19 percent stake in a California-based consulting company; and a Porsche Boxster that was purchased for another daughter.

Napoles is currently serving a sentence of life in prison in the Philippines for her role in the kidnapping and detention of her cousin, Benhur Luy, who served as Napoles’s finance officer and tracked her schemes.

The complaint was brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, in which a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section work in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, return those proceeds to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.  Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to

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The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.  The case is being handled by Trial Attorney Alexis J. Loeb of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, with substantial support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.  The Justice Department also thanks the Philippines’ Office of the Ombudsman, Anti-Money Laundering Council, National Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice for their cooperation in this matter.