Fat Leo and The US Navy: A Story About Wild Hobbit Sex Parties, Bribery and A Bold Escape

The biggest bribery investigation in US military history revolves around a Malaysian defense contractor who just made an escape as brazen as the case itself: Leonard Francis aka Fat Leo snipped off his ankle monitor and disappeared from house arrest.

We're talking about the case of Leonard Glenn Francis, a defense contractor who owned a company named Glenn Defense Marine Asia, or GDMA for short. He bribed his way literally to the top of the US Navy chain of command, and the fallout included an admiral who was short-listed for chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, but now is the first serving admiral to be convicted and serve jail time in US history. If you like our content please become a patron to get our premium episodes available exclusively to our premium subscribers, as well as our public episodes ad-free. 1

Leonard aka Fat Leo was born to a Scottish father and a Malaysian mother whose family owned a similar shipping supply business to the one he grew to prominence of late. His father's abuse of his mother, both physical and emotional, led to Leo having the same duality of obsession with and dislike of women. Like his father, this would ultimately be Leo's undoing, as the angry wives of US Navy officers like Michael Misiewicz were the ones who provided the initial reports to the NCIS which began the Fat Leonard investigation into the US Navy Pacific fleet chain of command. 2

Leo grew from scrappy husbanding agent to preferred military contractor between the time of the USS Cole bombing and 9/11, by providing whatever "services" the US Navy officers he dealt with wanted. Women, booze, parties, hotel suites, 5 star meals... Leo could get it if you wanted it, as long as you had some influence in the US Navy that could turn Leo a profit down the line. Leo even procured a former British ship, which he renamed "The Braveheart", to serve as a floating brothel-slash-casino which followed the 7th fleet around the south Pacific with diplomatic clearance.

Even when NCIS caught wind of Leo's exploits, he was difficult to prosecute both because of the reach of his influence within the chain of command, and because Leo also had the NCIS director at Quantico, Virginia on his payroll. As it turned out, special agent in charge John Beliveau had befriended Leo when he was a security aide to an admiral in Japan years before. In fact Leo was so problematic to prosecute that he wasn't... earlier this month he removed his ankle monitor and disappeared from his San Diego home. As it turns out the security company contracted to look after him wasn't doing their job very well either, they hadn't been to his home in days and didn't notice the tampering with the ankle monitor for 6 hours. 3

Leo was due to be sentenced tomorrow, but he's now on the run.

Episode #Dubimeter: 9.0

1. Craig Whitlock. The man who seduced the 7th Fleet. The Washington Post. May 2016. 

2. Greg Moran. Jury convicts four former Navy officers in ‘Fat Leonard’ bribery trial. Los Angeles Times. June 2022. 

3. Fat Leonard’s bold escape from California home was judge’s worst fear come true. The Mercury-News. September 2022. 

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