Issa Presses for Docs, Investigation in Navy Bribery Scandal

By Monica Garske
|  Thursday, Jan 30, 2014  |  Updated 9:21 PM PDT
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3 Charged in Navy Bribery Scheme

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In light of a highly-publicized Navy bribery scandal involving a Singapore businessman known as “Fat Leonard,” House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is now pressing the Navy for documents and further information.

On Thursday, Issa sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus demanding documents and a briefing on the steps taken to address the “string of contracting scandals that have engulfed the U.S. Navy.”

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3 Charged in Navy Bribery Scheme

Leonard Francis appeared in San Diego Federal Court on charges that he bribed a Navy Commander to secure multi-million dollar contracts for his Singapore-based company. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports.
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In the letter, Issa says he’s concerned that the internal reviews into the widespread Navy bribery scandal “will not go far enough.”

Read Issa’s letter in its entirety here.

Thus, Issa requests the Navy provide several new details and documents, including copies of all contracts between the Navy and Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. dating back to Jan. 1, 2009.

Issa also wants a list of the Navy’s total expenditures on “husbanding” contracts used to provide fuel and fresh food to Navy ships in port for the last five years.

Additionally, Issa’s letter requests a briefing from the Navy to Committee staff detailing the steps the Navy has taken since April 2011 to battle contracting fraud, including any recommendations made by a special panel appointed to address this topic in April 2011.

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At the forefront of the letter, Issa cites the recent Navy bribery scandal involving Leonard Francis, 49, the man more commonly known as Fat Leonard. A Singapore-based defense contractor and CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., Francis is accused of bribing U.S. Navy officials with prostitutes and lavish gifts.

Francis is accused of using those bribes to receive classified information from Navy officers and enlisted personnel in order to gain bidding advances.

One of the people Francis allegedly bribed is Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) supervisory special agent John Beliveau II, who pleaded guilty in the bribery scheme last month in federal court in San Diego.

On Nov. 21, 2013, Francis appeared in federal court in San Diego and entered a not guilty plea in one of three cases filed against him. Days later, a judge denied bail for Francis, who faces life in prison if convicted in the Navy bribery scandal.

Other high-ranking Navy officials allegedly involved in the scandal include Navy Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Navy Commander Jose Luis Sanchez. The criminal probe has also implicated two Navy admirals, Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless and Vice Admiral Ted Branch, also investigated for “illegal and improper relations” with Francis.

Last month, Navy Secretary Mabus warned of more disclosures and said the Navy has not seen the end of the widespread, multimillion dollar bribery and contracting scandal that has implicated so many.

Mabus wouldn’t disclose how much money is involved in the widening probe but said the Navy would continue to aggressively go after any naval officers or contractors who may be involved.

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