US Rear Admiral lied to hide supplier relationship

A US Navy Rear Admiral has been jailed for 18 months for lying to conceal his illicit 20-year relationship with a defence contractor.

Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau, 56, had pleaded guilty to making false statements and was sentenced on Wednesday in the Southern District of California. He is one of 20 current and former Navy officials to have been charged so far in an investigation into fraud and bribery. The wrongdoing cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

Gilbeau’s illicit relationship had been with Leonard Glenn Francis, owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), which provided services such as rubbish removal, food, water and fuel to US Navy ships.

Francis has already pleaded guilty to plying US Navy officals with gifts such as luxury travel, meals, cash, electronics, parties and prostitutes.

Gilbeau admitted he lied when he told investigators he had never received gifts from Francis and that he was not telling the truth when he claimed he “always paid for half of the dinner” when the two met about three times a year. Gilbeau also admitted destroying documents and deleting computer files when he learned of arrests taking place in the investigation.

In 2003 and 2004 Gilbeau was the supply officer of the USS Nimitz, where he was responsible for procuring all goods and services necessary for operation of the ship, said the US Department of Justice. In 2005 he became head of aviation material support in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations and in 2010, after being promoted to admiral, Gilbeau assumed command of the Defense Contract Management Agency International, where he was responsible for the global administration of the Department of Defense’s most critical contracts performed outside the US.

Of the 20 officials, 10 have pleaded guilty and 10 cases are pending. Five GDMA executives and the GDMA corporation have pleaded guilty.

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