A US Navy rear admiral pleaded guilty on Thursday to a charge of lying to federal investigators, making him the highest-ranking officer to be convicted in the expanding "Fat Leonard" bribery case.
Robert Gilbeau, 55, a special assistant to the chief of the Navy Supply Corps, appeared in US District Court in San Diego late Thursday afternoon, accompanied by his lawyer and a fluffy white dog he said helped him monitor his health.
Prosecutors said Gilbeau lied when he told investigators that he had not accepted gifts from Leonard Glenn Francis, whose contracts to clean, stock and maintain US Pacific Fleet ships are at the center of the $30 million bribery case.
"He lied to federal investigators to conceal his illicit years-long relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis," Assistant US Attorney Mark Pletcher told reporters after the hearing.
Neither Gilbeau nor his attorney agreed to comment on the case.
Guilbeau's guilty plea brings to 14 the number of people charged in the Singapore-based case, including Francis, the former chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia. The Malaysian businessman also known as "Fat Leonard" pleaded guilty last year to bribery charges. Nine of the 13 previously charged have pleaded guilty.