M'sian bribed US Navy officers with Gaga tickets

M'sian bribed US Navy officers with Gaga tickets

He has been known to spend $100,000 on Christmas decorations in front of his luxurious bungalow near Orchard Road.

But Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis was charged last month in US courts for cheating the US Navy.

The case involving "Fat Leonard", as he is known by US navy commanders, concerns hundred of millions of dollars worth of US defence contracts, reported AP.

According to papers filed by federal prosecutors, Francis and others in his company targeted navy personnel serving in Asia and plied them with prostitutes, cash, luxury hotel rooms, plane tickets and, on one occasion last year, tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand, reported The Washington Post.

COMMANDER ARRESTED

Arrested navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz is said to have passed confidential information about ship routes to Francis' Singapore-based company, Glenn Defence Marine Asia.

Misiewicz and Francis moved navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight in which Francis could inflate costs.

The firm overcharged the navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided and invented tariffs by using phoney port authorities, the prosecution alleged.

The complaint alleged that Misiewicz followed through on Francis' demands: In October last year, the USS George Washington was scheduled to visit Singapore, but was redirected by the US Navy to Port Klang, Malaysia, one of Francis' preferred ports where his company submitted fake contractor bids.

After Francis offered Misiewicz five tickets to a Lady Gaga concert last year, Francis wrote "Don't chicken out bro we need u with us on the front lines".

The US government has suspended its contracts with Francis. The defendants face up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery.


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