A Navy admiral on Thursday pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities investigating a $34 million fraud scheme involving a Malaysian contractor known as “Fat Leonard” — becoming the highest-ranking military official to be taken down in the wide-spanning scandal.

It is extremely rare for an admiral to even face criminal proceedings.

Rear Adm. Robert Gilbeau, 55, is believed to be the first active-duty Naval flag officer to be charged in federal court.

At a hearing in San Diego on Thursday, Gilbeau stood before the judge with a small, fluffy white service dog and told the court matter-of-factly that he was guilty as charged. He declined to comment after the hearing.