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Former fighter pilot faces military charges for Fat Leonard bribes

Cmdr. David Morales in 2015. US Navy PhotoIn the first prosecution by the military related to the massive Glenn Defense Marine Asia scandal, a former F/A-18 Hornet pilot faced a preliminary hearing Monday.

Military prosecutors said Cmdr. David Alexander Morales, 49, committed bribery, graft, prostitution and adultery, and accepted gifts that included travel, opulent hotel stays, tickets to see Julio Iglesias, and “four suckling pigs.”

He appeared in an Article 32 hearing. 

An Article 32 hearing under the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice is similar to a preliminary or grand jury hearing in U.S. criminal law.

Morales is the first defendant to face charges brought by the military and not the DOJ in the Fat Leonard case.

So far, the DOJ has charged 21 current and former Navy officials in the massive fraud and bribery scandal.

Ten have pleaded guilty and 10 cases are pending.

In addition to Leonard Glenn Francis, the owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, four others from the Singapore-based contractor have also pleaded guilty.

Francis, 51, a Malaysian national also known as Fat Leonard, pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to bribing dozens of Navy officials. He’s waiting to be sentenced.

His Singapore-based company provided Navy ships with food, water, cleaning, and other services at ports across Asia.

According to the charge sheet against Morales (available here from USNI News, between March 2012 and September 2013 he “conspired with Leonard Francis, president of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, to bribe Navy officials to influence ship schedules so GDMA would have a competitive advantage for lucrative husbanding contracts.”

Morales enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and graduated and from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1992.

After flying fighters, he served in logistics roles for the Navy in Asia.

The military alleged he committed offenses involving Francis and his company “at or near” Singapore, Busan (South Korea), Honolulu, and Bangkok.


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.

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1 Comment

  1. All there is left to say is, pull up your freaking pants, dust your dumb self off and start over, maybe you'll get your next task right. Ughhhhhhhhh. I really thought a fighter pilot would be tougher than this. Just goes to show, there's not one of us who can't fall. But there are plenty who haven't! Hope he has learned a lesson and the next chapters of his life will be to instill integrity, no matter where he is. Pull up your boot straps, suck in your gut and act like a MAN, not a punk kid.

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