Man accused of cheating US Navy led a larger-than-life lifestyle

Man accused of cheating US Navy led a larger-than-life lifestyle
Leonard Francis has been putting on extravagant Christmas light shows at his bunglows in Singapore for years

PETALING JAYA - He is a big man by any reckoning, both in size and in all his activities.

A prominent Malaysian business leader along with a third US Navy commander were charged Wednesday in a widening bribery scandal involving prostitutes, luxury travel and multimillion-dollar government contracts, officials said Friday.

Named in a complaint unsealed Wednesday was Leonard Francis, 49, of Malaysia, the CEO of Glenn Defence Marine Asia (GDMA). He was arrested September 16, 2013, in San Diego, California. Commander Jose Luis Sanchez, 41, was arrested Tuesday in Tampa, Florida and made a first appearance in federal court in Florida Wednesday. 

The private life of the controversial Leonard Glenn Francis has come under scrutiny with more details revealed by those who have crossed paths with the man who stands accused of offering prostitutes and money in exchange for over-priced Pentagon contracts.

A family acquaintance said it was hard to miss the well-spoken British-educated Francis in social events.

The man towers at more than 1.8m and he weighs 159kg.

"And he has a penchant for big cars, big homes and the big life," said the acquaintance who visited Francis' sprawling three-storey bungalow in Jalan Gasing here about seven years ago.

The palatial home had a swimming pool and no fewer than three maids.

"I saw a couple of Hummers, a Rolls Royce and a Mercedes, all which carry the registration number 1," he added.

Francis, who is the CEO of Singapore-based Glenn Defence Marine Asia Ltd (GDMA), has claimed trial in a San Diego court over a shocking corruption case involving millions of dollars squeezed out of the Pentagon.

He was charged with taking payoffs from a foreign defence contractor in exchange for classified and internal US Navy information, the Justice Department said in a statement.

"According to court records, Sanchez allegedly provided Francis with internal Navy information, such as US Navy ship schedules - some of which were classified - and information about husbanding issues that could affect GDMA, in order to help GDMA win and maintain Navy business," the statement added.

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