POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 23, 2011
A 40-year-old Kailua man admitted in federal court Friday that he helped a Marine Corps sergeant launder bribery money from military contractors in Iraq.
"A friend of mine was getting bribes. I was helping him conceal the bribes," Francisco Mungia III said.
Mungia pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering and faces a maximum five-year prison term when he is sentenced in November. He has agreed to cooperate with the government in prosecuting the sergeant and others and to repay the government $30,000.
The government said Mungia received about $150,000 in 2006-2008 from two contractors doing business in Camp Fallujah, where the sergeant worked as a contracting officer.
The government has yet to charge the sergeant or the two foreign-owned contractors who are identified in court documents as Person A, Company 1 and Company 2.
Mungia received the money from the contractors in cash and wire transfers when he was living in California and later after he moved to Hawaii, took 20 percent of the money for himself and transferred the rest to the sergeant, said Mark Pletcher, trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal and Antitrust Divisions.