Eyes on US Contractors: Widening Naval Contractor Scandal
Brett Daniel Shehadey
Special Contributor for In Homeland Security
“Fat Leonard” (Leonard Glenn Francis of Glenn Defense Marine Asia) was arrested early this September for using intelligence-like methods, recruited moles within the Department of the Navy, inflated estimates, defrauding the government and bribing high level commanders upwards of $200 million cash, prostitutes and other favors.
The services Fat Leonard provided were port services for the US Pacific Fleet. This included, piloting ships, docking, food, security, fueling, sewage, etc. Four officials have thus far been charged and two admirals have been suspended by a close association with Fat Leonard.
Operating a large number of ships in the ports and waters of highly corrupt islands states like Malaysia should be noted in making this devious process a lot easier. As the US works with the corrupt Pacific states like Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand to balance China, they are not operating with saints. Where the US finds itself a base and a port will in fact negatively influence the behavior of US service personnel as the operations often become more important than the high ethical standards back home.
This first scandal within the department is disgracefully opening up and expanding beyond Glenn Defense Marine. A second firm, Inchcape Shipping Services, is being investigated by the Department of Justice for subcontracting ship services at discount rates and not refunding keeping the rebates instead of refunding the Navy. This goes back to 2011, when the Justice Department issued a subpoena to Inchcape that the company hand over records of rebates since 2002. The New York Times reported that through the Naval Supply Systems Command, Inchcape received at least $257 million for their services in the Middle East. The investigation extends itself to Africa and Latin America.
Unlike the Glenn Defense case, the Inchcape has not found US naval officers at fault for the crime.