Navy Fraud Case Of 'Fat Leonard' May Not Be Near End
A string of indictments issued in 2013 are beginning to wrap up a $20 million bribery case involving the Navy's Pacific Fleet, but federal prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and could lead to more people being charged.
Prosecutors said that for years Malaysian military contractor Leonard Glenn Francis — known as "Fat Leonard" because of his size — handed out gifts to Navy personnel to steer ships toward ports he controlled in Asia. He pleaded guilty last year and is reportedly cooperating with authorities in their ongoing probe.
Nine indictments have come out since 2013, and seven people have pleaded guilty. Another person is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in the case.
"There are scores of U.S. military and Department of Defense civilian employees who are under investigation," said Mark Pletcher, an assistant U.S. attorney. "There are also hundreds of other cases that we’re investigating for various ethical and administrative action."
The highest ranking military person to be charged is a captain, though last year three admirals were censured by the Navy in connection with the case.