A former Department of Defense supervising contracting officer pleaded guilty Thursday in San Diego federal court to charges that he accepted bribes from Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis, the foreign defense contractor at the center of a massive bribery and fraud scandal.

The guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence nears Suva, Fiji. Navy photo
The guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence nears Suva, Fiji. Navy photo

Paul Simpkins, 62, supervised contracting officers responsible for awarding and administering U.S. Navy contracts.

According to admissions made in his plea agreement, from about May 2006 until September 2012, Francis provided cash, travel expenses and the services of prostitutes in return for Simpkins’ efforts to steer contracts to his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, and intervene on GDMA’s behalf in contracting disputes with the U.S. Navy.

Simpkins admitted that during the years-long scheme, Francis provided him with hundreds of thousands of dollars through wire transfers to a bank account controlled by Simpkins’ former wife.

Simpkins is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9.

Including Simpkins, 14 people have been charged in connection with the scheme: of those, 11 have pleaded guilty, including Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, Capt. (Select) Michael Misiewicz, Capt. Daniel Dusek, Lt. Cmdr. Todd Malaki, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug.

Francis and Ed Aruffo, a former GDMA employee, have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Retired Capt. Michael Brooks, Cmdr. Bobby Pitts and Lt. Cmdr. Gentry Debord were charged by a federal grand jury last month and their cases remain pending.

— City News Service