NOVEMBER 16, 2016 — Retired Navy Captain Michael Brooks yesterday pleaded guilty in relation to his role in the massive bribery and fraud scandal known in Navy circles as "the Fat Leonard Affair."
Brooks, 57, of Fairfax Station, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford of the Southern District of California. In May 2016, Brooks was charged in connection with his interactions with Leonard Glenn Francis, the former CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), a defense contracting firm based in Singapore. Brooks is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 17, 2017.
The Department of Justice says that, according to admissions made in connection with the plea agreement, from June 2006 to July 2008, Brooks served as the U.S. Naval Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.
In exchange for travel and entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes, Brooks used his office to benefit GDMA and Francis, including by securing quarterly diplomatic clearances for GDMA vessels, which allowed GDMA vessels to transit into and out of the Philippines under the diplomatic clearance of the U.S. Embassy.
Brooks also allowed Francis to ghostwrite official U.S. Navy documents and correspondence, which Brooks submitted as his own.
In addition, Brooks provided Francis with sensitive, internal U.S. Navy information, including billing information belonging to a GDMA competitor and U.S. Navy ship schedules.