Latest indictment in Navy bribery scandal details tight bonds between officers and ‘Fat Leonard’

When an indictment against nine current and retired Navy officers in the “Fat Leonard” corruption scandal was unsealed in San Diego federal court last week, it seemed like another version of a now-familiar story of booze, bribes, prostitutes and fraud that has consumed the service for nearly four years.

There was the same litany of misconduct by naval officers of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, from booze-fueled parties in luxury hotels across Asia, expensive meals costing thousands of dollars and salacious details of nights with prostitutes.

And all of it paid for by Leonard Glenn Francis — aka “Fat Leonard” — a gregarious Malaysian whose Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia bribed Navy officials over the course of a decade. In return, he got their assistance so he could defraud the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars.

Yet a closer look at the 78-page indictment reveals more than just sex and booze. Previous indictments in the probe — so far 25 people have been charged, with 20 of them current or former Navy officials — focused on one defendant or perhaps two and were more narrow in describing the interactions with Francis.

It’s unclear if Francis paid the debt off. But he did ask Shedd for information on future ship moves.

Hornbeck, Newland and Marine Col. Enrico DeGuzman, who also was indicted last week, each pressed Francis for jobs with GDMA after they left the service.

Francis appears not to have acted on those requests, but he continued to rain down money on the “Band of Brothers.” He spent as little as $3,000 picking up a hotel tab in Singapore and as much as $55,000 for four nights for a group of sailors — including three of the defendants — at a hotel in Hong Kong. Prostitutes from Manila were flown in for the event.

“Lion King,” Sanchez wrote in an email after, using a nickname for Francis, “once again, the brotherhood is very thankful for everything you provided for this port visit.”


Published at Sun, 19 Mar 2017 21:00:00 +0000