Cambodian-American Navy Officer Sentenced

A Cambodian-American naval commander was sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison and fined $100,000 by a San Diego federal court for his involvement in a wide-reaching scandal in which he exchanged confidential secrets for cash, gifts and prostitutes.

Once held up as a shining success story for having left war-torn Cambodia as a child and moved up the ranks of the U.S. navy as an adult, Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 48, pled guilty in January to charges of bribery related to the sale of information concerning the U.S. Navy’s Pacific ballistic-missile defense operations.

On Friday, Mr. Misiewicz was charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Judge Janis Sammartino sentenced an emotional Mr. Misiewicz to 78 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay $95,000 in restitution to the government, in addition to a $100,000 fine, The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper reported.

Born Khem Vannak in Kandal province, he was adopted in 1973 by a stenographer at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. The pair left Cambodia that same year, as fighting raged between the government and Khmer Rouge. Mr. Misiewicz grew up in rural Illinois, joining the United States Naval Academy in 1985.

Ten people have been charged in connection to the case, which involved exchanging confidential information on the movements of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet with Leonard “Fat Leonard” Francis, CEO of port servicing company Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), in exchange for cash and gifts.

Mr. Misiewicz admitted to receiving money, family vacations, a designer handbag, Lady Gaga concert tickets and the services of prostitutes. Nine out of 10 of the accused—eight U.S. naval personnel and two GDMA staff—have also pleaded guilty.

Mr. Misiewicz has so far received the longest sentence handed out in the trial.

In January, Judge Sammartino sentenced Daniel Dusek, a captain, to 46 months in jail along with a fine of $100,000. In January, Todd Malaki, a commander, received a 40-month sentence along with $30,000 in fines, while Daniel Layug, a captain, was handed 27 months.

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