Navy officer enters guilty plea in Fat Leonard case

Leonard Glenn Francis Leonard Glenn Francis

APRIL 15, 2015 — Another U.S, Navy officer has pleaded guilty in the 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.

Todd Dale Malaki, 44, of San Diego, a Navy lieutenant commander, today 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.

As part of his guilty plea, Malaki admitted that in 2006, while he was working as a supply officer for the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet, he began a corrupt relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis.  

As part of the scheme, Malaki provided Francis with classified U.S. Navy ship schedules and proprietary invoicing information about GDMA's competitors.  In exchange, Malaki admitted that Francis provided him with luxury hotel stays in Singapore, Hong Kong and the island of Tonga, as well as envelopes of cash, entertainment expenses and the services of a prostitute.

Malaki admitted that the total value of the benefits he received was approximately $15,000.

Malaki is the eighth individual to plead guilty in what the Department of Justice  says is "an expanding probe into corruption and fraud in the U.S. Navy."  GDMA 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.

"Another Navy officer has now pleaded guilty and admitted to taking bribes to reveal classified military information to a major supplier," said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division.  "It is both troubling and disappointing how many Navy officers we have exposed as willingly falling prey to GDMA's corruption, and our investigation remains active and ongoing.  Those who serve in our nation's military must uphold the public's trust or pay the consequences for their crimes."

"The receipt of envelopes of cash and lavish hotel stays by our public officials at whatever level erodes the public's trust in our institutions and our government," said U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California,  "Today's guilty plea reflects the next step in our ongoing effort to regain that public trust."

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