Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Thai Woman Now In California Over Huge Navy Corruption Case

The Navy's newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), ...

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Leitner

Above: The Navy's newest littoral combat ship, the future USS Kansas City (LCS 22), arrives at its new homeport at Naval Base San Diego, May 24, 2020.

A former executive for a Singapore-based defense contractor linked to a sweeping corruption scandal that cost the Navy some $35 million appeared Tuesday in a California courtroom to face federal charges.

Pornpun “Yin” Settaphakorn appeared before a judge in San Diego and was ordered detained pending another hearing next month.

Settephakorn, of Thailand, was extradited from that country last week, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office.

Last Friday, she pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and making false claims.

Settphakorn oversaw the Thailand office of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which provided fuel, food and other services to Navy ships in Pacific ports.

Prosecutors said the firm and its owner, known by his nickname of “Fat Leonard" Francis, bribed Navy officers with fancy gifts, trips and prostitutes to provide classified information in order to beat competitors and overcharge for services.

The scheme cost the Navy some $35 million.

Settaphakorn was charged in 2014 with involvement in a conspiracy to submit fraudulent price quotes, claims and invoices for about $5 million to the Navy.

More than a dozen Navy and company officials, including Leonard and an admiral, have pleaded guilty in the case.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.