A former executive of a Singapore-based defense contracting firm was sentenced Friday to more than five years in federal prison for his participation in a fraud scheme that overbilled the U.S. Navy by more than $34 million for ship-husbanding services.
Alex Wisidagama, 42, the former global manager for government contracts of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, pleaded guilty in 2014 to conspiracy to submit false claims for payment.
In addition to 63 months in prison, U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino ordered Wisidagama to pay $34.8 million in restitution to the U.S. Navy.
Wisidagama is the third defendant to be sentenced in a massive fraud and corruption scheme involving GDMA, which provided port services to U.S. Navy ships in the Asia-Pacific region.
According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Wisidagama and his cousin, GDMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis, perpetrated a scheme to defraud the Navy on ship-husbanding contracts by, among other things, overbilling for the sale of goods, fuel and port tariffs.
Records show that GDMA’s contracts with the Navy allowed it to sell certain categories of supplies for which GDMA was the lowest bidder.
To make it appear that GDMA’s prices were competitive, Wisidagama and others created false price quotations purporting to be from third-party vendors and submitted them to the U.S. Navy, the defendant admitted.
Wisidagama admitted that in October 2011, GDMA charged the U.S. Navy $2.7 million to service the USS Mustin during a port visit to Thailand. Authorities said that nearly $1.6 million of the charges were fraudulent.
To date, 10 individuals have been charged in connection with the scheme; of those, nine have pleaded guilty, including Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, Capt. Daniel Dusek, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug.
–City News Service
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