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Former GDMA Manager Extradited for Defrauding U.S. Navy

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Published Mar 11, 2021 5:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Department of Justice has extradited and charged a Thai national who worked for Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) for allegedly submitting false claims for payment to the U.S. Navy. 

Pornpun Settaphakorn, also known as "Yin," oversaw GDMA's Thailand office. She was extradited from Thailand last week and appeared in federal court in San Diego on Monday. 

Settaphakorn faces charges that she worked with two other GDMA executivdes, Neil Peterson and Linda Raja, to submit false claims for payment totaling more than $5 million. In addition, prosecutors allege that Settaphakorn worked to keep the fraud going by misrepresenting the cost of providing services to U.S. Navy ships in Asia, even submitting false price quotes from non-existent companies using letterhead "created from graphics cut and pasted from the Internet."

Settaphakorn is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims; one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and multiple counts of making false claims.

"Settaphakorn deserves to be held fully accountable in U.S. federal court for her alleged role in GDMA’s years-long scheme to defraud the Navy," said Special Agent in Charge Eric Maddox of the NCIS Economic Crimes Field Office. “NCIS and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated to rooting out corruption and fraud that threatens the integrity of the Navy.”

Peterson and Raja, both Singaporean nationals, worked as chief deputies for the disgraced defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis, owner of GDMA. Peterson served as GDMA’s VP for Global Operations and Raja served as the company’s General Manager for Singapore, Australia and the Pacific Isles. 

Peterson and Raja were extradited from Singapore in 2016, and both pleaded guilty for their participation in the massive GDMA scheme. In 2017, Peterson was sentenced to 70 months and Raja to 46 months in prison. Both were ordered to pay $34.8 million in restitution. They have served out their sentences and have been returned to Singapore.

"Whoever you are, whever you are in the world, and however long it takes, justice awaits those who imperil the U.S. Navy," said Randy S. Grossman, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.