Mar. 21st, 2017

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In September 2013, a subsidiary of the Glenn Marine Group, ship support contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), became the central public focus of an ongoing investigation into a corruption scandal within the United States Navy which has become known as the Fat Leonard scandal.[1][2] The Washington Post called the scandal "perhaps the worst national-security breach of its kind to hit the Navy since the end of the Cold War."[2] At the heart of the scandal was Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a firm run by Leonard Glenn Francis, a Malaysian national known as Fat Leonard for his 350-pound weight.[2] Francis provided thousands in dollars in cash, travel expenses, luxury items, and prostitutes to a large number of U.S. uniformed officers, who in turn gave him classified material about the movements of U.S. ship and submarine; confidential contracting information; and information about an active law enforcement investigations into Glenn Defense Marine Asia.[2] Francis then "exploited the intelligence for illicit profit, brazenly ordering his moles to redirect aircraft carriers to ports he controlled in Southeast Asia so he could more easily bilk the Navy for fuel, tugboats, barges, food, water and sewage removal."[2]

In 2010, Navy officials became suspicious that some of the bills submitted by GDMA company from Thailand were padded.[3] After a three-year secret investigation, federal agents lured Francis to the United States in September 2013, arresting him at a San Diego hotel in a sting operation. He pleaded guilty in January 2015 and is awaiting sentencing.[2][4] Leonard admitted to using his U.S. Navy contacts, including ship captains, to obtain classified information and to defraud the Navy of tens of millions of dollars by steering ships to specific ports in the Pacific and falsifying service charges.[4] In his plea, Francis identified seven Navy officials who accepted bribes.[5] The 6-foot-3-inch, 350-pound Malaysian playboy faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years and agreed to forfeit $35 million in personal assets.[6]

Since 2013, 27 people have been criminally charged in connection with the Fat Leonard bribery and corruption scandal. According to investigators, more than 200 people — including 30 admirals — have come under scrutiny under the inquiry.[7][8] As of March 2017, thirteen people have pleaded guilty; 14 others have been charged (including eight Navy officers who were indicted in March 2017); four admirals were disciplined by the military; two others are known for be under investigation; and more than 150 other unidentified people have been scrutinized.[8]

Among the thirteen people who have pleaded guilty to federal crimes, one was Francis himself, two others were his top deputies; and ten others were Navy personnel.[9] The highest-ranking was Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau, who was convicted in June 2016 after pleading guilty to making false statements to investigators about his contacts with Francis,[10] becoming the first Navy admiral in modern American history to be convicted of a felony while on active duty.[7]

The U.S. Navy has canceled all contracts with GDMA.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Leonard_scandal

June 2017

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