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Leonard Glenn Francis pleads guilty in Navy bribery case

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Leonard Glenn Francis

JANUARY 16, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Justice reports that Leonard Glenn Francis, owner and chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in federal court yesterday, admitting that he presided over a decade-long conspiracy involving “scores” of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud and millions of dollars in bribes and gifts.

GDMA also pleaded guilty yesterday, as did a Navy captain who pleaded guilty for accepting bribes in exchange for using his position to benefit GDMA.

Leonard Glenn Francis, 50, of Singapore, the owner and CEO of GDMA, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jan M. Adler of the Southern District of California. GDMA likewise pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

A sentencing hearing for both Francis and GDMA is scheduled for April 3, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California.

As part of their plea agreements, Francis and GDMA have agreed to forfeit $35 million and pay full restitution to the Navy, in an amount to be determined at sentencing.

As part of his guilty plea, Francis admitted to defrauding the Navy of tens of millions of dollars by routinely overbilling for various goods and services, including fuel, tugboat services and sewage disposal.

Francis also admitted that over the course of the conspiracy, he and GDMA gave Navy officials millions of dollars in gifts and expenses, including over $500,000 in cash; hundreds of thousands of dollars in prostitution services; travel expenses, including first class airfare, luxurious hotel stays and spa treatments; lavish meals, including Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs, top-shelf alcohol and wine; and luxury gifts, including Cuban cigars, designer handbags, watches, fountain pens, designer furniture, electronics, ornamental swords and hand-made ship models.

In exchange, Francis solicited and received classified and confidential U.S. Navy information, including ship schedules.
Francis also sought and received preferential treatment for GDMA in the contracting process.

Francis further admitted that he bribed a federal criminal investigator in an attempt to learn more about the federal investigation of his company.

Also yesterday, U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Dusek, 47, of San Diego, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo of the Southern District of California.

A sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California is scheduled for April 3, 2015.

Dusek, the highest-ranking of five present and former Navy officials to plead guilty in the case so far, admitted that he used his influence as Deputy Director of Operations for the 7th Fleet, headquartered in Yokosuka, Japan, and later as commanding officer of the USS Bonhomme Richard and the executive officer of the USS Essex, to benefit Francis and GDMA.

Dusek admitted that he hand-delivered Navy ship schedules to the GDMA office in Japan or emailed them directly to Francis or a GDMA employee on dozens of occasions, each time taking steps to avoid detection by law enforcement or Navy personnel.
Dusek further admitted that Francis plied him with lavish meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels, including the Marriott Waikiki and the Shangri-La in Makati, Philippines, and the services of prostitutes.

Dusek admitted that, after accepting these gifts, he worked to direct Naval ships to GDMA’s port terminals. For example, on one occasion, he steered an aircraft carrier and its strike group to Port Klang, Malaysia, a port terminal owned by Francis.
In addition to Francis, GDMA and Dusek, five other individuals have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme to date: U.S. Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service Special Agent John Beliveau, U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug and GDMA employees Alex Wisidagama and Edmond Aruffo.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy of the Southern District of California, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations James B. Burch of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Director Andrew L. Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Anita Bales of the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) made the Justice Department announcement of the pleas.

“Today’s guilty pleas of Leonard Francis, his company, and a senior Navy officer are vitally important steps in our active, ongoing investigation,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “We will continue our efforts to root out those involved in this long-running corruption scheme, both inside and outside the Navy. The interests of justice and national security demand nothing less.”

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by NCIS, DCIS and DCAA.


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