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Two More U.S. Navy Officials Plead Guilty in GDMA Corruption Scandal

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Leonard "Fat Leonard" Glenn Francis, the owner of GDMA (file image)

By The Maritime Executive 06-10-2020 10:34:00

Retired U.S. Navy servicemembers Capt. David Haas and Chief Petty Officer Brooks Alonzo Parks have pled guilty to corruption charges in connection with the long-running Leonard "Fat Leonard" Francis corruption scandal, bringing the number of guilty pleas connected to the case near to two dozen. 

Francis' ship husbanding company - Glenn Defense Marine Asia, or GDMA - provided a group of officers, logistics specialists and contracting officials at U.S. 7th Fleet with bribes in exchange for information and assistance that allowed GDMA to overbill the Navy for goods and services. Haas and Brooks were indicted in 2018 and charged with a wide selection of bribery and corruption offenses in connection with the wide-ranging scandal. 

Capt. Haas faced eight counts in total, including six counts of bribery for receiving goods and services The specific inducements were similar to those in previous GDMA cases, including luxury hotel rooms, nightclub parties, dinners and the services of prostitutes. Among other instances, Haas allegedly attended a “Cinderella Liberty” party in Indonesia, which involved nightclub outings and prostitution. 

In return, Haas allegedly helped to direct the carrier USS John C. Stennis to call at a GDMA-served port in Malaysia, resulting in $2.7 million in revenue for GDMA.

Haas pled guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit bribery, an offense with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. He has agreed to pay restitution in the amount of about $90,000. 

The Justice Department contends that all told, the bribery scheme helped GDMA to overcharge the Navy by approximately $35 million. When compared to the full scope of the fraud, the value of the alleged bribes suggests that the participating Navy officials received a small fraction of GDMA's corrupt proceeds.