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U.S. jails two Singaporeans for Fat Leonard fraud

Two former executives of a Singapore-based defense contractor were sentenced to prison Friday for helping their employer in a $35 million fraud against the U.S. Navy.

Neil Peterson, the former vice president for global operations at Glenn Defense Marine Asia or GDMA, was sentenced in San Diego federal court to 70 months.

Linda Raja, GDMA’s general manager for Singapore, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, was sentenced to 46 months.

The two Singaporeans pleaded guilty in May for submitting bogus bids, phony claims, and inflated invoices to the U.S. Navy.

Peterson, 40, and Raja, 45, were arrested by authorities in Singapore at the request of the U.S. government and extradited in October 2016.

Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
GDMA’s owner, Leonard Glenn Francis — also known as Fat Leonard — is a 51-year-old Malaysian national. He pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego to bribing dozens of Navy officials. He’s waiting to be sentenced.

His company provided port services including cleaning, food and fuel to U.S. Navy ships in Asia.

Peterson and Raja helped GDMA submit bids to the Navy that were either “entirely or partially fictitious,” the DOJ said.

The phony bids “ensured that GDMA’s quote would be selected by the U.S. Navy as the supposed lowest bidder.”

After winning the work, Peterson and Rajah submitted inflated invoices and phony claims.

Overall losses to the Navy were more than $34.8 million.

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

Most of the Navy defendants allegedly accepted luxury travel and hotel stays across Asia, as well as meals, electronics, cash, and the services of prostitutes. In exchange they allegedly helped Francis and his company win and keep Navy contracts. They also gave Francis classified and internal U.S. Navy information about ship movements and port calls.

Fifteen defendants have already pleaded guilty. 


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

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