Navy Captain Sentenced for Role in "Fat Leonard" Scandal

Leonard "Fat Leonard" Glenn Francis, owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 02-08-2019 03:49:32

A court in San Diego has sentenced former U.S. Navy Captain Jeffrey Beslau for his role in the sweeping Glenn Defense Marine Asia scheme, the largest corruption scandal in the service's history. So far, 33 defendants have been charged and 22 have pleaded guilty, and the list of suspects for possible criminal or administrative charges is said to number in the hundreds. 

Last year, Breslau pled guilty to one count of criminal conflict of interest, admitting that he was paid over $60,000 by GDMA's owner, Leonard "Fat Leonard" Glenn Francis, in return for providing Francis with public relations consulting services. This activity occurred while Breslau was employed by the Navy. 

Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery and fraud charges and admitted that he presided over a decade-long conspiracy involving countless U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud and millions of dollars in bribes and lavish gifts for Navy personnel, including luxury travel, five-star hotel accommodations, top-shelf alcohol, the services of prostitutes, Cuban cigars, and other inducements. 

Breslau admitted that from March 2012 until September 2013, while he served in high-level public communications roles for the Navy, he provided Francis with PR advice - including advice on how to respond to the growing controversy related to Francis’s business with the U.S. Navy. 

This period overlapped with advanced stages of the investigation into Francis' fraud scheme, and Breslau provided Francis with extensive assistance as GDMA faced inquiries from Navy officials. Prosecutors say that during the course of his consulting agreement, Breslau authored, reviewed, or edited at least 33 documents; authored at least 135 emails providing advice to Francis; provided at least 14 sets of “talking points” in advance of meetings between Francis and high ranking U.S. Navy personnel; and “ghostwrote” emails on Francis’s behalf for transmission to U.S. Navy personnel.  

For these services, Francis paid Breslau about $65,000, an income stream that Breslau did not disclose to the Navy.

On Friday, a federal judge in San Diego sentenced Breslau to six months in prison and a fine of $20,000 for his role in assisting Francis. He also ordered Breslau to transfer his earnings from the scheme to the Navy.