A career Naval officer has been arrested for his role in a bribery scandal where he allegedly traded perks for prostitutes and luxury travel, Erik Slavin with Stars and Stripes has reported.
Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz was taken into custody Monday at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorodo, where he served on the staff for U.S. Northern Command, the unified combatatant command for North America.
Misiewicz was arrested along with a Naval Criminal Investigative Service supervisory agent named John Bertrand Beliveau II and a government contractor by the name of Leonard Glenn Francis.
Misiewicz is accused of using his power and influence as a Navy commander to steer ships from the U.S.’s 7th Fleet into ports with lax tax codes that would financially benefit Francis, who runs a firm called Glenn Defence Marine Asia. Francis’ company provided the Navy with services like tugboats, security, transportation, supplies, fuel, and waste removal,according to CNN.
This would enable Francis to bill the Navy for far more than he otherwise would have. According to a Department of Defence complaint cited by Stars and Stripes, the USS Stennis, a massive aircraft carrier, visited Malaysia in September 2012 and was billed $US2.7 million. Two visits to different ports that year reportedly cost the Navy roughly half that amount.
In exhange for all this, Francis allegedly gave Misiewicz luxury perks and access to professional female companionship. In one email, Francis reportedly referred to his “Elite Thai Seal Team,” a pretty unclever nickname for a group of prostitutes he allegedly paid.
Bealiveau’s role was allegedly to provide Francis with information about a Naval fraud investigation into his company’s practices, says CNN.
All three men have been charged with conspiring to commit bribery.
If the allegations prove true, it represents a stunning end to the career of Misiewicz, once an American success story. He was once the subject of a public-affairs profile by the Navy when in 2010, as commander of a guided missile destroyer called the U.S.S. Mustin, he reunited with family in his native Cambodia during a port visit there.
Adopted from Cambodia in 1973, he moved to the United States shortly before the Khmer Rouge massacre and went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. He had been selected for promotion to the rank of captain.
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