OCTOBER 17, 2016 — U.S. Navy lieutenant commander Gentry Debord, 41, has become the latest Navy officer to enter a guilty plea in the so-called "Fat Leonard" affair.
Debord, who is based in Singapore, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal of the Southern District of California, October 13, and admitted to accepting cash, luxury hotels and prostitutes from a foreign defense contractor in exchange for proprietary Navy information. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2017.
Debord, who served in several logistical and supply positions in the Western Pacific, admitted that he instructed Glenn Defense Marina Asia (GDMA) executives to inflate their invoices to the Navy to cover the cost of various illicit gifts provided to him.
From November 2007 to January 2013, Debord provided former GDMA CEO Leonard Glenn Francis and others with internal and proprietary U.S. Navy information.
This information included inside Navy information about competitors' bids and information about an investigation into GDMA's billing practices.
Debord also admitted to misusing his position and influence in the Navy to advocate for and advance GDMA's interests, including by approving inflated invoices for services never rendered that he directed Francis to submit.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, as part of this conspiracy, Debord, Francis and others attempted to conceal the bribes given to Debord as well as the nature and extent of his relationship with Francis.
This was done by, for example, using coded language in communications referring to prostitutes as "cheesecake" or "bodyguards." Debord also requested that GDMA executives provide him with an apartment for a port visit.
In addition, Debord admitted to asking a GDMA executive to provide him with three hotel rooms, two cell phones, a van and 2,000 Singapore dollars. Debord instructed the executive to recover the value of these items by inflating the amount that GDMA would invoice the U.S. Navy for potable water and trash removal service for the U.S.S. Essex port visit to Singapore, which GDMA proceeded to do.
The following day (as we reported earlier) John Bertrand Beliveau II, 47, a former Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) supervisory special agent, was sentenced to 144 months in prison for his role in the case and ordered to pay $20 million in restitution to the Navy.