Yet another crook in Singapore—super-rich Fat Leonard who lives in a 70,000 square foot house on Singapore’s exclusive Nassim Road. No, that’s not a typo—a 70,000 square foot house.
Fat Leonard, whose real name is Leonard Glenn Francis 58, is from Malaysia, but has lived in Singapore for at least 30 years.
Francis has had run-ins with the law before. Francis came into contact with undesirable characters after he opened a pub. That venture proved to be unsuccessful and left him in debt.
In 1989, when he was just 21, he was sentenced to three years in jail and six strokes of the cane by the High Court in Penang on two counts of firearms possession after he was found with two revolvers and a bullet-proof vest.
Once he was out of prison, Francis took over the family business – Glenn Marine Enterprise – from his father. He later renamed the company to Glenn Defence Marine Asia and led it to prosperity.
Francis is now the president and CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which has had “husbanding” contracts for US Navy ships at ports worldwide for 25 years.
Since 2011, Glenn Defense Marine has been awarded more than $200 million in U.S, Navy contracts.
Francis was arrested in San Diego on September 2013 and, on January 15, 2015, admitted to charges of plying US Navy officers with cash, gifts and prostitutes in exchange for classified information about where ships were scheduled to dock.
According to prosecutors, officers dubbed Francis “Fat Leonard” for his girth and his penchant for allegedly showering favors on sailors in return for preferential treatment for his firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).
The bribes allegedly went to US Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz (originally from Cambodia) and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Supervisory Special Agent John Bertrand Beliveau II. They are accused of accepting bribes from Francis in exchange for preferential treatment regarding contracts, as well as for tipping the company off to federal fraud investigations. The bribes were also for revealing confidential naval routes—a breach of U.S. national defense.
These bribes enabled Francis to overcharge millions for food, fuel, phony tariffs and other charges at Asian ports.
Francis supplied prostitutes, Lady Gaga tickets and other bribes in exchange for the top-secret information that allowed him to rob the U.S. Navy of millions when the ships were serviced in Asian ports, federal prosecutors allege.
Francis was arrested in San Diego on September 16 after federal investigators set up a sham meeting with Navy officials. Misiewicz and Beliveau were arrested in Colorado and Virginia, respectively, on the same day and have been delivered to San Diego to face trial with Francis.
In Singapore, Francis is known not only for his extravagant 70,000 square foot Singapore home but for lavish Christmas displays. He is legendary in naval circles, said retired Rear Adm. Terry McKnight. “He’s a larger-than-life figure. You talk to any captain on any ship that has sailed in the Pacific and they will know exactly who he is,” he said.
It may be quite a while before Francis returns to his 70,000 square foot house.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Glenn Marine Group of Companies, Glenn Building, 15D Pandan Road, Singapore 609266, Tel: +65 6268 5300, Fax: +65 6776 1263
November 7, 2013 update:
A third senior official, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jose Luiz Sanchez, 41, was arrested in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday and charged with accepting escorts, high-end hotels, pricey plane tickets, $100,000 cash and a bevy of other payoffs from Leonard Francis.
November 9, 2013 update:
Vice Admiral Ted Branch, director of naval intelligence, and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, director of intelligence operations, are involved with “illegal and improper relations” with Leonard Francis according to the U.S, Navy.
Both Admirals have been suspended from duty in this breach of U.S. national security.
The U.S. Navy has said that more charges are likely.
Francis appeared in federal court on November 8th in San Diego on bribery allegations. Singapore operative, Alex Wisidagama, Francis alleged “bagman,” also appeared in court with Francis.
The bribes were to have ships dock at Asian ports controlled by Francis, who overcharged the Navy for fuel, food and other services, according to the criminal complaints filed in San Diego.
Prosecutors said Friday they would seek a protective order to shield any of the evidence from the media and the public in this growing scandal.
The size and scope of Francis’ operation over many years raises the question if Singapore’s government was aware of, or involved in Francis’ affaires—a serious breach of U.S. national security.
If so, should the U.S. Navy continue to use Singapore’s port facilities? Well, there’s money in it for some high-ranking U.S. Navy officers.
July 7, 2014 update: Phuket, Malaysia and Japan Drawn into Multi-Million Dollar Fat Leonard Scandal
A fourth man’s plea of guilty in the multimillion dollar Singapore Fat Leonard scandal that now embroils Phuket. This has opened up new aspects of a kickbacks scam executed on the US Navy by Singaporean Leonard Glann Francis.
It’s alleged that the president of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, Leonard Glenn Francis – a large and wealthy man known in Navy circles as ”Fat Leonard” – led frauds that involved fake bills for supplies at Phuket and other regional ports. Francis, who operated out of Singapore, was a familiar face for decades among top ranking Navy admirals and commanders serving in the Pacific, according to the Washington Post. Prosecutors have accused Francis and his employees of doling out cash, luxury travel and prostitutes to Navy officials in exchange for inside information that he used to win contracts and bilk the US Navy.
Edmond A. Aruffo, who retired as a lieutenant commander in 2007 after serving 20 years in the US Navy, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the US government as part of a deal with federal prosecutors in San Diego where Fat Leonard is being held.
The part played by people on Phuket in the alleged fraud have yet to be revealed but are expected to emerge as the case proceeds.
After leaving the Navy, Aruffo worked for three years as an executive with Glenn Defense, the Washington Post reported.
According to a copy of the plea agreement, Aruffo arranged an elaborate kickback scheme in Japan that defrauded the US Navy of between $1 million and $2.5 million between July 2009 and September 2010.
The kickback scheme in Japan opens up an entire new angle in the rapidly spreading bribery scandal.
US prosecutors have charged Francis and others in his company with over-billing the Navy for more than $20 million in the scams.
Retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Edmond A. Aruffo, who started a second career working for defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) pleaded guilty in federal court July 3, admitting that he and others overcharged the Navy by up to $2.5 million for port services to American ships and then used some of the proceeds to treat Navy officials to lavish dinners, cocktails and entertainment. It was all part of GEMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis’ massive fraud and bribery scheme that cost the U.S. Navy more than $20 million.
GDMA is a Singapore-based and owned contractor that has serviced Navy ships and submarines in the Pacific for decades.
Aruffo, who retired in 2007 after a military career spanning more than 20 years, is the seventh defendant charged – and the fourth to plead guilty in the expanding corruption scandal involving GDMA’s illicit relationships with Navy officials.
Aruffo’s bond was set at $40,000; however, he indicated to the court he would not post bond and immediately self-surrender. He will remain in jail until his sentencing hearing scheduled for Oct. 3, 2014, at 9 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California in San Diego.
GDMA owner and Singaporean CEO Leonard Glenn Francis also enlisted the clandestine and illegal assistance of Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau and Petty Officer First Class Daniel Layug in the scheme to provide classified ship schedules and other sensitive information critical to the U.S. national defence. Beliveau and Layug have pleaded guilty while the others are awaiting trial.
GDMA’s Francis is accused of bribing Navy personnel with cash, luxury travel, expensive meals, consumer electronics and prostitutes in exchange for classified and proprietary information and to comprimise and expose U.S. naval operations in the Pacific.
As an example, in February 2010 the USS Lake Erie visited the port of Sukomo, Japan. Aruffo arranged for a Japanese vendor to provide a variety of husbanding services. The vendor invoiced the Navy $145,229.77 – an amount inflated by about $50,000, which the vendor ultimately gave to GDMA as a kickback.
Aruffo also arranged for another Japanese vendor to provide services to the USS Blue Ridge at the port of Otaru, Japan. The vendor billed the Navy in the amount of $432,476.14 and then kicked back $204,961.20 to GDMA.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by NCIS, DCIS and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.
The GDMA perpetrators are allegedly also being investigated for potentially treasonable offenses regarding U.S. national security, according to a source close to the investigation.
November 4, 2014 update:
A retired U.S. Navy officer pleaded guilty to federal charges of arranging kickbacks on behalf of an Asian defense contractor, marking an escalation of a long-running bribery scandal that has shaken the ranks of the Navy.
Edmond A. Aruffo, who retired as a lieutenant commander in 2007 after serving 20 years in the Navy, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government as part of a deal with federal prosecutors in San Diego.
After leaving the Navy, Aruffo worked for three years as an executive with Glenn Defense Marine Asia, a Singapore-based contractor that supplied and serviced Navy ships at ports across Asia until the bribery investigation became public in September.
Aruffo is the fourth person to plead guilty in the case, along with a Navy petty officer, a senior agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and another executive with Glenn Defense Marine.
Three others are awaiting trial, including two Navy officers and the company’s president, Singaporean Leonard Glenn Francis , a large, fat, and wealthy man known in Navy circles as “Fat Leonard.”
In addition, the Navy has said that two admirals and two captains are under investigation, although those individuals have not been charged with a crime.
Two U.S. admirals — including the director of naval intelligence — are under investigation as part of a major bribery scandal involving Fat Leonard.
Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch, the Navy’s top intelligence officer, and Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations, were placed on leave and their access to classified material was suspended.
Both admirals are being investigated for their ties to a Singapore-based defense contractor, Fat Leonard, whose chief executive was arrested on charges that he bribed other Navy officers into giving him classified information in exchange for prostitutes and cash.
Two Navy commanders and a senior Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent have already been arrested, and a captain was relieved of his ship’s command last month in connection with the case.
But the announcement that two admirals in charge of protecting the Navy’s secrets have been swept up in the investigation makes the crisis the worst to tar the Navy since the 1991 Tailhook scandal, when a convention of naval aviators raped scores of women.
The Navy is bracing for even more bad news to emerge from a corruption case as, “We do believe that other naval officers will likely be implicated in this scandal,” Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Navy’s chief spokesman, said in a telephone interview.
The Navy did not disclose why Loveless and Branch were untrustworthy, but said their alleged misconduct occurred prior to their current assignments and before they became admirals—and what difference does that make.
“There is no indication, nor do the allegations suggest, that in either case there was any breach of classified information,” Kirby said in a statement. Vice Adm. Ted Branch, the director of naval intelligence, had his security clearance suspended in November 2013 after being investigated for possible misconduct. In the year since, no charges have been filed and there is no sense of when they might be, leaving the Navy in an untenable situation.
If classified information is being discussed at a meeting, the director of naval intelligence has to leave the room.
If Admiral Branch drops by a subordinate’s office, the space must be sanitized of any secrets before he enters.
Admiral Branch is being investigated for “possible connections” to Fat Leonard, whose employees have been convicted of bribing officials in exchange for Navy business.
But what, you might ask, does an intelligence director do all day when he’s prohibited from working with intelligence? Well, the Navy Times says Admiral Branch is spending time on “personnel management” and “leading an effort to raise the profile of cyber-security across the fleet.” Great work, Admiral Branch!
There appears to be no end to the Navy – Fat Leonard scandal as the jails fill up with our boys in blue.
Jan 6, 2015 update – more of Leonard’s lackeys (karkis) are going to prison:
In the Fat Francis Singapore bribery case, U.S. Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, entered his plea of guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery today in federal court in San Diego. He was accused of providing classified information to Leonard Glenn Francis, the chief executive officer of Glenn Defense Marine (Singapore).
Francis was charged in 2013 with providing gifts and prostitutes to Sanchez and a second commander to steer Navy vessels to ports that were most lucrative for Glenn Defense Marine. The company has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services, including food, water, fuel, tugboats and trash removal, for Navy ships in at least a dozen countries, according to prosecutors.
U.S. Navy Captain-Select Michael Misiewicz, 47, who was arrested in Colorado in 2013, was indicted today for bribery conspiracy and seven counts of bribery.
Sanchez, who kissed up to Francis as “Lion King” and “Boss” in e-mails, received more than $100,000 in cash and prostitutes that Francis arranged for him and his friends in Kuala Lumpur and Manila.
Both Sanchez and Misiewicz provided Francis with Navy schedules and other classified information to help Glenn Defense Marine win business, according to federal prosecutors.
Sanchez admitted using his influence within the Navy to help Glenn Defense Marine on various occasions, including tipping off Francis about investigations into overbilling by the company and briefing the CEO on internal U.S. Navy deliberations.
Sanchez, the fifth defendant to plead guilty in the case, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $500,000 fine for his guilty pleas to the two counts, U.S. Magistrate David Bartick said in court today. Sentencing is scheduled for March 27.
Francis, known in Navy circles as “Fat Leonard,” has pleaded not guilty to the allegations and awaits trial in San Diego.
An agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service pleaded guilty in December 2013 to conspiracy to commit bribery. A former manager for Glenn Defense Marine who admitted overbilling the U.S. Navy more than $20 million also pleaded guilty.
These guys are falling, slowly, on their way to prison. There was no report on whether there were the usual elaborate Christmas decorations at Leonard’s incredible mansion in Singapore.
Singapore is a major port for the U.S. Navy and now we know why!
February 7, 2015 update:
Based on fresh information federal authorities in Virginia, on February 3rd, arrested Paul Simpkins, 60, a former contracting official with the Defense and Justice departments. He has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery.
According to the affidavit, Francis began funneling bribes to Simpkins in 2006 when he was based in Singapore as a contracting officer for the Navy. The relationship continued until 2012, when Francis paid for Simpkins to travel from Washington to Singapore, put him up in a Hilton Hotel and provided him with prostitutes, the affidavit alleges.
“Can u set up some clean, disease free wome[n] when I am there?” Simpkins emailed Francis a few days prior to his trip in September 2012, according to court papers. As he left Washington, Simpkins followed up with another email, adding, “Whats the plan to meet up and maybe do some honey’s?”
“Honeys and bunnys,” Francis replied, according to the affidavit.
Over the years, Francis gave Simpkins about $150,000 in cash bribes stuffed in envelopes and hundreds of thousands more dollars in wire transfers, federal investigators allege.
Simpkins is the ninth person charged in the scandal, the biggest corruption case to hit the Navy in recent memory. Seven defendants have pleaded guilty and federal authorities have said they are targeting other suspects. One wonders just high up in the Navy this will go as several admirals are involved.
On Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, Federal Magistrate Judge Rawles Jones ordered Simpkins held without bail until the U.S. Marshals can transfer him to San Diego, where the investigation into the international bribery scandal is based. Jones said he was swayed by prosecutors’ arguments that their case was strong and that Simpkins had few, if any, ties to keep him in the United States.
Brian Young, a trial attorney for the Justice Department, argued Simpkins should be held because of the unflattering allegations against him, his extensive resources and foreign travel history. All of those factors, Young said, might make Simpkins likely to flee.
Simpkins is married to a Chinese woman and that although he owns a house in Virginia, he only visits the state every 90 days or so.
Brooke Sealy Rupert, Simpkins’s defense attorney in Virginia, had requested that Simpkins be released with conditions, saying he had no criminal history and “a long history of service to this country.” She said Simpkins, who was born in South Carolina but now owns a three-level townhouse in Haymarket, Virginia, had joined the Air Force at age 18.
The GDMA case is now affecting most of the 219 admirals in the U.S. Navy
Vice Adm. Mike Miller was ending a four-year tour as academy superintendent and retiring with honors after a 40-year career.
Except that when the hoopla died down, Miller wasn’t allowed to leave the service just yet. Even though his official online biography reads “retired,” he’s still being carried on the Navy’s active-duty rolls — at a reduced two-star level. And although he has no specific job — or billet, in Navy-speak — he counts against the service’s allocated total of 219 admirals.
Defense officials said Miller is one of an estimated three dozen flag officers under federal investigation for potential wrongdoing in the Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) case, also known as the “Fat Leonard” affair, after the nickname of the company’s leader, Leonard Glenn Francis. In other words, well over 30 Admirals are under suspicion of being corrupt and involved in the GDMA case – and the list is growing, rapidly as it appears that the U.S. Navy is a corrupt organization. Who knows how many other admirals are involved?
A number of naval officers and civilians already have been charged and some convicted, and the investigation, which was announced in mid-2013, is — by all accounts — showing no signs of slowing down.
Other flags known to be caught up in the affair are Vice Adm. Ted Branch, the head of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, the director of intelligence operations. Both officers were restricted by the Navy on Nov. 8, 2013 — with their security clearances revoked — pending the outcome of the investigations. No outcomes have been announced.
Vice Adm. John Miller (no relation to Mike Miller) has been the commander of US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain since May 2012. In March 2014, he was named to become the next deputy chief of naval operations for Plans, Policy, and Operations at the Pentagon, and should have been relieved by now. But his replacement has not arrived — not even been announced — because that person is under investigation by Justice in connection with GDMA. Miller, according to defense officials, is not under investigation.
A number of officers such as Mike Miller were planning to retire over the past year or more, but are being held over pending the results of the investigation.
It becomes a lot more complicated to deal with folks once they’re outside the military,” said the defense official, explaining why Mike Miller is being held over. “The ability to handle it is a lot easier keeping them in uniform.”
Worries about how far and how long the investigation would reach have been legion since the scandal first came to light in November 2013.
It’s also clear the investigation goes back nearly a decade. For Mike Miller, any alleged involvement most likely dates from the first half of 2006, when he commanded the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. The Reagan deployed in January 2006 and returned home that July. Since then, Miller served ashore in Norfolk, Virginia, then in Washington as the chief of legislative affairs, before moving to superintendent at Annapolis in 2010.
The Justice investigation appears to be widening its scope, defense officials agreed, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“Top officials thought initially they could manage their way through this, and that belief is waning. I don’t think anyone understood the potential magnitude of time and effort this would involve,” the defense official said.
“One way or the other,” the defense official said, “it affects most of the 219 folks in the flag wardroom.”
In other words the GDMA case is now affecting most of the 219 admirals in the U.S. Navy.
The GDMA scandal has caused so many officers’ careers to be placed on-hold that it’s taking a toll not just on the U.S. Navy’s leadership, but on the U.S. Navy’s ability to fuction.
More than 30 high-level officers and admirals remain under investigation as the probe widens. The hold placed on the careers of so many Navy personnel means the service’s regular system is stagnating.
Usually officers rotate jobs every 18 months to 36 months but because of the Department of Justice investigation of Glenn Defense Marine Asia and its CEO Leonard Glenn Francis, many officers remain suspended or in place but with their normal authority on-hold rendering them useless.
According to defensenews.com, ”The situation is affecting Navy commands ashore and afloat, across the globe.”
This story is so hot that none of the U.S. news media will touch it and that includes CNN, NBC, ABC and Fox!
February 11, 2015 Update:
Barely a day goes by without more U.S. Navy Admirals being involved in the Fat Francis case. We are now up to close to 40 admirals.
FEBRUARY 11, 2015 — Three U.S. Navy flag officers have received letters of censure in relation to Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) bribery and corruption scandal, known in Navy circles as the “Fat Leonard” affair — a reference to Glenn Marine founder, Leonard Glenn Francis.
Rear Admirals Mike Miller, Terry Kraft and David Pimpo were all censured for their involvement with GDMA during the January to July 2006 deployment of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, when Miller was the strike group commander, Kraft the carrier’s commanding officer, and Pimpo the ship’s supply officer on that cruise.
The three are among an estimated three dozen admirals under federal investigation for potential wrongdoing in the Glenn case. Others whose names have emerged are Vice Adm. Ted Branch, the head of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, the director of intelligence operations. Both were suspended by the Navy on November 8, 2013 with their security clearances revoked.
Looks like nearly the entire U.S. Navy corps of admirals are involved in this case of bribery, sex and money.
April 21, 2015 Update:
U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Todd Dale Malaki pleaded guilty to bribery charges in federal court on April 15, 2915, admitting that he accepted cash, hotel expenses and the services of a prostitute in return for providing classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and other internal and secret Navy information to an executive of Singapore’s Glenn Defense Marine Asia, run by “Fat” Leonard.
Malaki, 44, of San Diego, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin of the Southern District of California to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 6, 2015.
Malaki is the eighth individual to plead guilty in this expanding probe into corruption and fraud in the U.S. Navy. Glenn Defense Marine Asia pleaded guilty in January. Two other individuals, Paul Simpkins, formerly a Department of Defense (DOD) contracting officer, and Michael Misiewicz, a Captain-select in the U.S. Navy, have been charged and entered pleas of not guilty.
The scandal implicated some of the highest-ranking officials in the Navy—including the former superintendent of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, a vice admiral who received a censure after admitting to accepting bribes from “Fat Leonard.” According to Defense News, as many as “three-dozen flag officers” (and others totaling 219 naval officers) are under federal investigation for their connections to the scandal as of this past February. This includes Vice Adm. Ted Branch, the head of naval intelligence, and Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, the director of intelligence operations. Both officers were restricted by the Navy on Nov. 8, 2013 — with their security clearances revoked — pending the outcome of the investigations. However, both of this crooked Admirals remain at large and unpunished by the U.S. Navy.
These include Rear Admiral Michael Miller, Commander, Carrier Strike Group 7 embarked on USS Ronald Reagan, Rear Admiral Terry Kraft, former Commanding Officer, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Kraft is currently serving as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan and Commander, Navy Region Japan. Finally, there is Rear Admiral David Pimpo, then-supply officer of USS Ronald Reagan. Pimpo is currently serving as Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Weapon Systems Support.
These are the crooks that are supposed to be protecting America from ISIS and others. These, and dozens of other Admirals corrupted by Singapore’s Glenn Defense Marine Asia are still in positions of power thanks to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
The U.S. Navy’s inability to punish anyone at the general officer Admiral level reveals a disturbing degree of corruption at the US military’s top ranks. The big-time admirals who oversaw officers implicated in the scandal – and a few who even admitted to accepting favors from the company – haven’t received any serious punishment, and a few top officers were allowed to remain in their positions and keep their rank despite having their security clearances suspended.
July 19, 2015 Update:
Three more U.S. admirals were censured for dining at “extravagant” banquets in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore and accepting other gifts from Fat Leonard, who is at the center of a bribery scandal that continues to rattle the highest ranks of the Navy, according to documents released late Friday.
One dinner alone cost $23,061, or about $768.72 for each of the 30 people who attended. To get around ethics rules, the admirals reimbursed the contractor, Fat Leonard”, but only for a fraction of the expense, writing personal checks for between $50 and $70 each.
The incidents occurred while all three officers — Vice Adm. Michael H. Miller, Rear Adm. Terry B. Kraft and Rear Adm. David R. “the Pimp” Pimpo — were assigned to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group. Each Admiral has been fired from the U.S. Navy.
Fat Leonard has corrupted the U.S. Navy right up to its highest levels.
August 7, 2015 Update:
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus pins award on “retiring” Vice Adm. Mike Millerduring Miller’s end-of-tour and retirement ceremony. Actually, Vice Adm. Millerduring was fired from the Navy due to his involvement with Fat Leonard. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus does not seem to care – maybe he too is on Fat Leonard’s payroll.
It looks as though the entire upper echelon of the US Navy has been corrupted by Fat Leonard.
Maybus and his Admirals must be laughing all the way to the bank.
Mar 29, 2016 Update:
In San Diego, California, Singapore national, Alex Wisidagama, former global manager of government contracts of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), has been sentenced to 63 months in prison for his part in a fraudulent billing scheme that saw the Navy over charged $34 million for ship husbandry services, including through artificially inflated bunker prices, the US Department of Justice has said.
Wisidagama is the company manager for his cousin, Singapore resident Leonard Glen Francis. Aka “Fat Leonard.”
In addition to the jail sentence, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of California, Janis L. Sammartino, on March 18, also ordered Wisidagama to pay $34.8 million in restitution to the United States Navy.
Wisidagama is the third defendant to be sentenced in the long-running GDMA fraud and corruption scheme and Singapore’s complicity in the matter is still under question.
According to admissions, Wisidagama and his cousin, Leonard Glenn Francis, CEO, GDMA, defrauded the U.S. Navy on ship husbanding contracts by over-billing for the sale of goods, fuel, and port tariffs.
Wisidagama and his conspirators created false invoices purporting to show that GDMA paid more to purchase fuel than was actually the case
To date, ten individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme; of those, nine have pleaded guilty, including Malaki, Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, Captain Daniel Dusek, NCIS Special Agent John Beliveau, Commander Jose Luis Sanchez and U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug. Several others are being charged, including high-level Admirals in the United States Navy.
Former Department of Defense civilian employee Paul Simpkins was the ninth person to be charged in the case and currently awaits trial in San Diego.
Simpkins, was charged with conspiracy to commit bribery along with receiving cash, luxury travel, entertainment, and the services of prostitutes between May 2006 and 2012 in return for providing classified information to GDMA’s President and CEO, Singapore’s Leonard Glenn Francis, which led to GDMA winning contracts in Thailand and the Philippines. Simpkins is also charged with attempting to block an investigation into GDMA’s overcharging of the U.S. Navy and faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
GDMA held contracts to restock, repair, refuel and clean the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet under contacts that federal authorities say have been worth over $200 million over 10 years.
Feb. 16, 2017 Update:
As part of an ongoing naval bribery investigation, federal prosecutors arrested a Navy commander on Thursday for accepting bribes from corrupt contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and handing over classified information, a danger to U.S. national security, to Francis.
Lt. Cmdr. Mario Herrera, 48, was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, and charged in a complaint with conspiracy to commit bribery. Herrera is expected to eventually appear in San Diego federal court, where the investigation and prosecution of the cases linked to Francis are taking place.
Herrera was charged with accepting gifts, travel, expensive meals and the services of prostitutes from Francis’ company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. In return, Herrera provided Francis with secret classified information on ship schedules for the Seventh Fleet and used his position in the Navy to steer ships to visit ports that Francis’ company controlled.
Once in those ports, Francis routinely gouged and overcharged the Navy for a wide spectrum of services his company provided, from sewage removal to ground transportation, security and communications.
Francis, from Singapore, has pleaded guilty in the massive scandal that has cascaded through the Navy officer corps for the past four years. He is awaiting sentencing and has agreed forfeit $35 million to the government — a tiny portion of the gross proceeds from the bribery scheme.
Herrera is now the 12th current or former Navy official charged in the investigation. Excluding Herrera, all but one have pleaded guilty. In addition to Francis, four other GDMA employees have been charged and pleaded guilty.
The charges against Herrera echo what has become a familiar litany of corruption and misconduct by the highest level of Navy personnel.
It is time to “drain the swamp” of high corrupt high-level Navy officers including Admirals!
March. 15, 2017 Update:
The Justice Department has unsealed a fresh indictment charging eight more Navy officials — including an admiral — with corruption and other crimes in the “Fat Leonard” bribery case.
Among those charged were Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, a senior Navy intelligence officer and four retired Navy captains and a retired Marine colonel.
The disgraceed Navy personnel are accused of taking bribes in the form of lavish gifts, prostitutes and luxury hotel stays courtesy of Singapore’s Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis.
According to the charges, Francis sponsored wild sex parties for many officers assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, the once proud (now disgraced) flagship of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, and other warships.
On a visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in February 2007, Francis allegedly hosted a sex party for officers in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila hotel. During the party, “historical memorabilia related to General Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts,” according to the indictment.
In exchange the high-placed Navy officers provided Francis with highly classified information that enabled his Singapore firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, to gouge the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars.
Loveless, the retired admiral, was arrested at his home in Coronado, Calif. The Navy had announced in November 2013 that he was under scrutiny by the Justice Department and suspended his access to classified material. He was allowed to retire last fall – which questions the judgement of the U.S. Navy.
Navy officials have admitted that about 30 admirals are under investigation, although only a handful have been named publicly as the Navy continues to protect its own.
March. 19, 2017 Update:
Robert Gilbeau, a one-star admiral, was convicted last June about his contacts with Francis. He has since retired with a lavish pension. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month in federal court.
Separately, the Navy has censured or disciplined three other admirals for ethics violations after they accepted lavish meals and other gifts from Francis.
Others taken into custody recently included David Newland, 60, a retired captain from San Antonio; James Dolan, 58, a retired captain from Gettysburg, Pa.; David Lausman, a retired captain from The Villages, Fla.; and Donald Hornbeck, a retired captain who lives in Britain. Also arrested are Enrico de Guzman, a retired Marine colonel from Honolulu; Lt. Cmdr. Stephen Shedd, an active-duty officer from Colorado Springs; and Robert Gorsuch, 48, of Virginia Beach, a retired chief warrant officer.
“This is a fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions,” said Alana W. Robinson, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California. She said the defendants “worked together as a team to trade secrets for sex, serving the interests of a greedy foreign defense contractor and not those of their own country.”
The case is still unfolding and that more than 200 people including many from the corrupt Navy have come under scrutiny!
There seems to be no limit to the indictments of Navy Admirals in this case.
Formal U.S. Admiral Robert Gilbeau is the first active-duty Navy admiral in modern history to be convicted of a felony. Next month, he faces sentencing and could land in federal prison for up to five years.
Yet he still gets a military pension that pays him about $10,000 a month.
Gilbeau is one of seven current or former Navy officers who have pleaded guilty in the Fat Leonard scandal who are still eligible for generous retirement benefits, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.
How the Navy decides to act could have repercussions twenty-seven people have been charged with crimes since the investigation became public in 2013, including eight Navy officers indicted this month and more than 200 people — including 30 admirals — who have come under scrutiny.
Retirement perks for generals and admirals and can exceed $150,000 a year. They are also entitled to heavily subsidized health insurance.
Gary R. Myers, a New Hampshire-based military defense attorney, said the Navy would probably consider applying the unusual punishment to officers convicted in the Fat Leonard scandal, given their abuse of the public trust. “It would be a response to the egregious nature of what was done and the breach of faith with the American people by Navy personnel,” Myers said. “This is a monumental embarrassment to the Navy, and the Navy does not like to be embarrassed.”
Besides handing down a 61/2-year prison sentence, a federal judge ordered Misiewicz to pay $195,000 in fines and restitution and restitution hangs heavy over the head of all those involved in the Fat Leonard scandal.
The Navy should invoke the Hiss Act, a 1954 law passed by Congress that denies retirement benefits to federal officials convicted of disloyalty, bribery, graft and similar offenses. Congress later amended the law, and it is now limited to crimes related to national security, including espionage and treason.
Those convicted Navy officials who have admitted to giving classified information to Francis, should, under the law, lose all their benefits and should suffer financial penalties.
Prosecutors have said that in Gilbeau’s case, they will seek only between 12 and 18 months of prison.
In Gilbeau’s case, Fat Leonard knew that the admiral particularly liked to have sex with Vietnamese women—two at a time—so he supplied him with pairs of prostitutes on at least three occasions, according to prosecutors.
For example, in December 2010, Francis took Gilbeau out for dinner, drinks and karaoke in Singapore — and then paid for him to spend the night in a hotel suite with two prostitutes, prosecutors allege.
The next day, the defense contractor emailed the admiral to ask how the evening had gone.
“Very nice,” Gilbeau replied.
How does that compare to the years one can be sentenced for stealing for grand theft auto? How dishonest is the U.S. Navy?