Saturday, April 18, 2015

How a Malaysian playboy controlled the US Seventh Fleet and soaked taxpayers for millions...

It was the middle of September 2013 and the U.S. Justice Department had laid a trap.

Its target was the Malaysian millionaire defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis. But no one called him by his real name. At six feet tall and more than 300 pounds, he earned the nickname “Fat Leonard.” His buddies in the Navy called him something else — the Tony Soprano of Singapore.

At the time, Leonard’s business — Glenn Defense Marine Asia — held contracts with the U.S. Navy worth more than $200 million. Anytime a ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet needed servicing, there was a good chance it stopped at a port serviced by GDMA.

When the ships docked in Fat Leonard’s ports, he squeezed every buck he could out of the Navy and the American taxpayer. Beginning in 2004, Fat Leonard overcharged for basic services — and federal investigators are still totaling up the amount he suckered out of the Navy.

By 2013, the Justice Department was ready to take him down. Years of investigations had produced a solid case, and the department asked Navy officials to call Francis to California under the guise of a face-to-face business meeting. Full story...

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