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Navy officer sentenced to 40 months in bribery case

SAN DIEGO >> A federal judge sentenced a Navy officer to 40 months in prison today for providing confidential ship routes that enabled a Malaysian contractor to bilk the Navy out of at least $20 million.

Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki provided the routes in exchange for cash, the services of a prostitute and luxury hotel stays in Singapore, Hong Kong and the island of Tonga.

Malaki is among nine defendants who have pleaded guilty to bribery charges including the case’s central figure, Singapore-based executive Leonard Francis. The gregarious businessman bribed Navy officials with extravagant gifts to obtain information that helped his Glenn Defense Marine Asia steer ships to Pacific ports with lax oversight, where Francis’ company submitted fake tariffs and other fees, according to the criminal complaint. Francis is awaiting sentencing.

Only one defendant is still fighting the charges. Prosecutors have suggested there still could be arrests in the ongoing investigation that has rocked one of the world’s largest Navy fleets.

Malaki is accused of providing the classified schedules of U.S. Navy ships and submarines to Francis’ company, which has been resupplying Navy vessels for more than 20 years. Prosecutors say he also gave the company proprietary invoicing information about the competition.

He told Judge Janis L. Sammartino that he regretted his actions before he was sentenced today in San Diego.

Sammartino told the court that a more significant sentence was warranted because of Malaki’s long-term corruption over more than seven years. She said Malaki’s case was “one of the most serious offenses the court has seen in its tenure in the Southern District of California.”

The judge ordered Malaki, 44, to pay a $15,000 fine and $15,000 in restitution to the Navy.

Malaki’s defense attorney, Jeremiah Sullivan, said his client has taken responsibility for what he did.

“He dedicated 26 years of his life to serving the Navy and his country and he let everyone down,” Sullivan said. “It pains him that he hurt so many.”

Malaki had faced a maximum of five years in prison. He is the second defendant to be sentenced. Last week, Navy Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug was sentenced to 27 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bribery.

Malaki’s sentencing comes a day after Navy Cmdr. Michael Misiewicz, one of the highest ranking officers charged in the case, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery of a public official. He faces up to 20 years in prison if sentenced to the maximum amount for both charges. Prosecutors say he and Francis moved ships like chess pieces.

In 2010, Misiewicz caught the world’s attention when he made an emotional return as a U.S. Naval commander to his native Cambodia, where he had been rescued as a child from the violence of the Khmer Rouge and adopted by an American woman. His homecoming was widely covered by international media.

His sentencing hearing was set for April 29.

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  • He bilks the Navy out of $20M and only has to pay back a total of $30K. I think he got off dirt cheap. Incomplete reporting on this story. Still doesn’t answer if he is getting a dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of all pay, allowances and retirement benefits. Don’t assume anything unless you see it in writing or have it on video. Sometimes even a video isn’t good enough.

    • Agree that the article failed to include whether there is forfeiture of retirement benefits if time in service warrants as well as reduction in grade and a discharge other than honorable?

    • Federal judges cannot hand out DD’s, and the Navy would have to adjudicate him at a general court to do so. Likely has an OTH in his future. I think a felony conviction is an automatic loss of retirement pay.

  • tip of the iceberg….what about the Republican national defense contractors under The Pres Bush (dad) and Prez G. Bush (son) who milked billions from US govt and taxpayers for the two Gulf Wars and Afgan over 12 year period….GAO unable to acct for millions spent….and the beat goes on…

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