An admiral was among the newest of eight Navy officials now charged as part of the Fat Leonard scandal. After many years probing the U.S. Navy corruption outrage, investigators, and federal prosecutors honed in to take down the ring leader, Singapore businessman, Leonard Glenn Francis, in 2013. From that moment forward, numerous personnel has been considered and charged with crimes related to the immense bribery scandal that disgraced the 7th Fleet.
US Navy Marred by Greed
A U.S. Navy Admiral and seven others accused in the Fat Leonard disgrace comes, a long, four years since the first Navy personnel were indicted due to the investigation. Among the charged is recently-retired Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, a senior Navy intelligence officer, who is said to have held a vital position at the Pentagon. Amid the newly accused, are four retired Navy captains and a Marine colonel, who is also retired.
Loveless was one of three admirals reprimanded in 2015 for taking gifts related to the Fat Leonard bribery charges. As a Rear Admiral, Loveless was Deputy to Vice Adm. Ted Branch, who was director of Naval Intelligence. The 2015 admonishment stemmed from 2005 when Branch served as the commanding officer of the carrier Nimitz and accepted an offer from Francis. Pursuant to those allegations, both Loveless and Branch continued in their positions but had their security clearances removed for 20 months.
The most recent criminal charges of a U.S. Navy Admiral and seven others accused, in the Fat Leonard disgrace, has brought the tally up to 27 people. Two hundred people still under investigation.
As the inquiry continues, exactly how much greed played a significant role in spoiling the reputation of the 7th Fleet is revealing. Prostitutes, vacations, cash, and travel were given as gifts by Francis to Naval personnel in return for information, which he used in swindling the Navy.
US Navy Taken Down by One Man
The huge scandal continues to grow, with a U.S. Navy Admiral and seven others accused in the Fat Leonard disgrace. Charged are those who hold the highest command of ships and classified information. Several top Navy officers have pleaded guilty to bribery charges.
- In 2013, Lt. Cmdr. Gentry Debord, charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, pleaded guilty.
- The scandal saw Lt. Cmdr. Todd Dale Malaki pleading guilty of charges in 2015.
- CO Michael Misiewicz was accused in 2016, and consequently, pleaded guilty to the charges.
- Capt. Daniel Dusek was sentenced in 2016 to 46 months in prison.
It was not war or threats that killed Navy livelihoods, it was the offerings by one man that has been the scandalous undoing of the 7th Fleet. Francis, who was head of the Navy’s main partnering Asian defense contracting company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, orchestrated his own takeover of ships. He did not use arms and ammunition, but bribery to achieve his goals.
Francis received his Fat Leonard moniker from his rotund 350-pound build. Evidently, the larger than life personality of Francis worked to woo leaders of the Navy with bribes.
He succeeded for many years using his tactics to get officers to move ships in his company’s direction. The manipulations by Francis resulted in overcharging for refueling and resupplying ships. As a result, the Malaysian contractor is said to have made millions off of the Navy.
Sept. 2013, the tables were turned on Francis as federal agents used his own tactics of greed to arrest him. Consequently, a sting operation was set up to lure Fat Leonard to California. Agents enticed him to come by proposing a meeting with admirals and offering Francis profitable contracts.
With the most recent U.S. Navy Admiral and seven others accused in the Fat Leonard disgrace, it is clear that this scandal has overreaching ramifications. The Naval hierarchy needs to tighten the reins to protect citizens, not only from weapons of destruction but from the mere sin of greed that can undo humans. With the temptation of prostitution leading males into giving up U.S. resources, perhaps it is time for the Navy to emphasize gender equality naming more women to serve as its leaders.
By Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Cathy Milne
The Washington Post: Admiral, seven others charged with corruption in new ‘Fat Leonard’ indictment
Navy Times: Navy rebukes 3 admirals for accepting dinners, gifts
The Washington Post: Prostitutes, vacations and cash: The Navy officials ‘Fat Leonard’ took down
Navy Times: Navy officer pleads guilty in growing bribery case
Navy Times: Navy captain sentenced to 46 months for accepting bribes
Navy Times: Navy Commander accused of accepting prostitution services, other bribes pleads guilty
Navy Times: Lt. Cmdr. pleads guilty in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery scheme
Military Times: ‘Fat Leonard’ fallout: Officers talk growing bribery scandal and ‘epic parties’
The Washington Post: The man who seduced the 7th Fleet
Featured and Top Image by U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph R. Wax Courtesy of Wikimedia – Public Domain License