Former U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Brooks Alonzo Parks has become the latest defendant to receive a prison term in the so called “Fat Leonard Affair” — the wide-ranging corruption and fraud investigation involving foreign defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).
Parks was sentenced October 30 to 27 months in prison and $25,405.76 in restitution for federal bribery conspiracy charges by U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California says that Parks, 48, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, earlier this year pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, admitting that he conspired with Francis and others to receive things of value, including luxury hotel and travel expenses in exchange for taking official acts for the benefit of GDMA and violating his official duties to the United States Navy.
Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery and fraud charges, admitting that he presided over a massive, decade-long conspiracy involving scores of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud and millions of dollars in bribes – from cash, prostitutes and luxury travel accommodations to Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pigs.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from December 2005 to February 2009, Parks, a Petty Officer First Class, served as the Logistics Lead Petty Officer (“LPO”) on the staff of Commander, U.S. Navy Seventh Fleet, embarked on the USS Blue Ridge, the command ship for the Seventh Fleet. Parks was actively involved in managing the Seventh Fleet’s logistics support budget, signing and processing invoices, and performing other supervisory logistics functions for the Seventh Fleet.
Parks admitted that from March 2006 through March 2010, Francis paid for lavish hotel accommodations for Parks and his friends throughout Asia, as the USS Blue Ridge came into port. Parks had expensive taste and wasn’t restrained in demanding ever more luxuriant accommodations from GDMA. In one instance, Parks demanded the $4,800 per night Ritz Carlton Suite in Singapore, though he was ultimately provided Executive Club rooms at the Singapore Hilton at a cost of $3,400 for himself and his friends. In another instance related to a port visit in Hong Kong, Parks demanded “3 suites at a 5-star hotel,” for himself. He specified, “I’m wanting a Presidential KING Suite (5 Star)).” As Parks put it, “the Glen [GDMA] bug had bit the sh** out of me!!!” He assured Francis, “You know I’ve got your back like you’ve got mine.”
In return for these bribes, Parks approved and expedited GDMA invoices and payment requests, provided substantial bidding and pricing information to GDMA as part of GDMA’s effort to crush its competitor in the Philippines, and provided limited ship port visit scheduling information.
So far, 34 defendants have been charged and 23 have pleaded guilty as part of the investigation, says the U.S. Department of Justice, many admitting they accepted luxury travel and accommodations, meals or services of prostitutes from Francis in exchange for helping GDMA win and maintain contracts and oververbill the Navy by millions of dollars.