A massive investigation of U.S. Navy corruption in Asia that featured wild parties, bribes and prostitutes has expanded to include more than than 60 admirals and hundreds of other Navy officers, The Washington Post reports.
The probe centers on Malaysian contractor Leonard “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis, who provided money and wild times in exchange for classified information to win lucrative contracts with the 7th Fleet for his Singapore-based company and defraud the U.S. government, according to the newspaper.
The Justice Department has already filed charges against 28 people, including two admirals, since Francis was arrested in a sting operation four years ago. But that could just be the beginning. Eighteen people have pleaded guilty to charges that include violations of military law and federal ethics rules.
The Navy told the Post that investigators have been examining the conduct of 440 personnel, current and retired, including at least 60 admirals.
Indictments in March against nine officers allege that Francis plied the men with Cuban cigars, $25,000 watches, and $50,000 worth of alcohol for a multi-day party, and a “rotating carousel of prostitutes” in exchange for information, Foreign Policy reported. Francis once rented the MacArthur Suite at the Manila Hotel, where Gen. Douglas MacArthur memorabilia was used for sex acts with prostitutes, according to the indictment.
Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribing Navy officers and defrauding the government of more than $35 million. He’s currently jailed in San Diego awaiting sentencing. He’s cooperating with the government, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
In August, Navy Cmdr. Bobby Pitts pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Pitts was in charge of the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Industrial Supply Command in Singapore, and managed contracts for food, water and trash removal for the 7th Fleet. He admitted giving Francis confidential information that helped him dodge investigators, the Tribune reported.