Two former executives of a Singapore-based defense contractor have been extradited to the United States in the massive bribes-for-secrets scandal that has rocked the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command.
Neil Peterson, 38, and Linda Raja, 43, both of Singapore, appeared Monday in federal court in San Diego. They were denied bail pending trial.
Peterson and Raja worked for Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Peterson was the vice president for global operations and Raja served as general manager for Singapore, Australia, and the Pacific Isles.
Police in Singapore arrested them in September at the request of the United States.
The DOJ said they plotted with the owner of Glenn Defense, Leonard Glenn Francis — also known as Fat Leonard — to cheat the U.S. Navy out of more than $5 million.
They allegedly submitted “false price quotes from non-existent companies on letterhead created from graphics cut and pasted from the internet,” the DOJ said.
Francis, 51, has already pleaded guilty to bribing scores of U.S. Navy officials with luxury travel, meals, cash, electronics, parties, and prostitutes.
His company provided Navy ships with food, water, cleaning, and other port services in Asia.
Federal agents arrested the Malaysian citizen after luring him to San Diego last year to talk about new Navy contracts.
He’s waiting to be sentenced.
So far, sixteen defendants have been charged in the case. Of those, 11 are current or former U.S. Navy officials.
Most of the Navy personnel have been charged with taking bribes from Francis in exchange for sensitive information about ship movements and schedules. Some were charged with lying to investigators about their relationship with Francis and his company.
Nine defendants have pleaded guilty. Five have been sentenced.
Last month a former NCIS supervisory special agent was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the case. John Beliveau, 47, of York, Pennsylvania, took cash, luxury travel, and the services of prostitutes from Fat Leonard. In exchange, Beliveau told Francis about investigations into Glenn Defense, including the names of confidential witnesses helping investigators.
The highest-ranking officer charged in the case is Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau. He pleaded guilty in June to lying to investigators and destroying evidence about his relationship with Francis.
Three other rear admirals including the commander of naval forces in Japan retired last year after the Secretary of the Navy censured them for the Fat Leonard scandal.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.