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Singapore charges former U.S. Navy official in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery scandal

Image courtesy of the U.S. NavyA woman who worked for the United States Navy in Singapore was charged in court there Thursday with taking bribes of cash and hotel stays for passing classified information about ship movements to a company that serviced Navy ships in ports across Asia.

Gursharan Kaur, 55, a Singapore citizen, was also charged with money laundering for using the cash bribes to buy an insurance policy and an option to buy a condominium, the Singapore Straits Times reported.

Kaur was a lead contract specialist with the U.S. Navy. She gave classified ship movement information from 2006 to 2009 to Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis, president of Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

She took hotel stays worth about $21,000, and around $71,000 in cash.

The hotel stays included a week at the Sheraton Jumeriah Beach Dubai, a three-night stay at the Ritz Carlton in Duba, a three-night stay at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, and a week-long stay at St Regis Bali Resort.

Francis pleaded guilty in January in San Diego to U.S. federal charges of bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, and fraud.

The Malaysian national was arrested in California in September 2013. The DOJ alleged that Glenn Defense marine won more than $20 million in contracts that were tainted by bribery.

In February, the U.S. Navy said three rear admirals were retiring after the Secretary of the Navy censured them for the Glenn Defense Marine scandal.

Naval Forces Japan commander Rear Adm. Terry Kraft and rear admirals Michael Miller and David Pimpo received censure letters from Secretary Ray Mabus. The letters were intended to “document their failure of leadership” for the handling of Glenn Defense Marine Asia between 2006 and 2007.

Nine defendants have pleaded guilty as part of the U.S. investigation. They include active duty enlisted sailors and officers, and civilian contractors. They have admitted giving Francis and his company classified information about ship movements and planned port calls in exchange for travel and luxury accomodations, cash, and the service of prostitutes.

Francis used the information to route the Navy ships, including nuclear submarines, to so-called “pearl ports” where Glenn Defense Marine had service contracts. The company overcharged the ships for fuel, electricity, cleaning, and other services, Stars and Stripes said.

In Singapore, Kaur is free on $50,000 bail. She’s scheduled to appear in court on January 14. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison for each bribery count and up to seven years for the money-laundering charges.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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