Ex-Navy official gets six years in massive bribe scandal

A retired U.S. Navy official and former Singapore-based contractor, was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for taking some $350,000 in bribes and sexual favors, the Justice Department said. Paul Simpkins was one of many convicted in the scheme. Above: The U.S. Navy destroyer Bainbridge is seen in Crete, Greece in January 2009. U.S. Navy Photo by Paul Farley

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) — Paul Simpkins, a retired U.S. Navy official and former Singapore-based contractor, was sentenced Friday to six years in federal prison for taking some $350,000 in bribes and sexual favors, the Justice Department said.

Simpkins, 62, admitted to steering millions of dollars in Navy business to Leonard Glenn Francis, a Singapore-based contractor known as “Fat Leonard,” and his company Glenn Defense Marine Asia. For some 25 years, the company has held contracts to resupply and refuel Naval ships and submarines in ports across Asia.

Simpkins, who pleaded guilty on June 23 to conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery, is the sixth Naval official to recieve prison time in a massive corruption scandal since the initial arrests in 2013. Another six or so current and former Naval officers have pleaded guilty in the case and are awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutors said about 200 people are under investigation in the case. Simpkins was also ordered to pay $450,000 in restitution, to forfeit $150,000 and pay a $50,000 fine.

“Paul Simpkins abused his position as a Navy contracting officer to obtain cash, air travel, hotel rooms and prostitutes,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said. “Along with others convicted in this ongoing investigation, Simpkins tarnished the reputation earned by the U.S. Navy officers and enlisted and civilian personnel who honorably serve this nation every day.”

Court records show Simpkins and Francis met in a Singapore hotel bar in 2006 to discuss the scheme. Francis first gave Simpkins an envelope with $50,000 in cash and later wired Simpkins some $300,000 in bribes.

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