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Singapore firm at center of widening Navy bribe scandal

The U.S. government has barred Singapore-based Glenn Defence Marine Asia Ltd. (GDMA) from new contracts following a U.S. Navy bribery scandal that named Glenn and its chief executive, Leonard Glenn Francis.

Under the ban that went into effect September 19, the government terminated nine contracts the company had with the Navy worth $205 million.

GDMA was the chief husbanding agent for the Navy in the Pacific Rim area. It organized tugboats, security, fuel, waste removal and other services for Navy ships making port calls in the region. The Navy has a huge support installation in Singapore. Glenn’s contracts with the Navy started ten years ago.

“The unfolding investigation is shaping up as the biggest fraud case in years for the Navy,” the Washington Post said.

Glenn’s owner Francis, a Navy commander, and a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent were arrested in the case. They were charged in federal court in San Diego with conspiracy in a bribery scheme. A Navy captain under investigation was relieved of duty but not charged with a crime.

The government said the Navy commander accepted paid travel from Glenn, the service of prostitutes, and tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand. In return, the naval commander sent classified information to GDMA, such as ship movement details, and helped arrange visits by U.S. Navy vessels to ports where GDMA had contracts, according to the government’s allegations.

Francis was charged with providing the NCIS agent with travel, entertainment, prostitutes and other favors in return for information about an ongoing NCIS investigation into his company.

The NCIS agent was charged with downloading and giving confidential information to Francis.

All three men face a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.


Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog. She can be reached here.

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