2 Former Executives Plead Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Navy Bribery Scheme with ‘Fat Leonard'

A total of 20 U.S. Navy Officials have been charged in connection to the case

Two former Singapore executives for foreign defense contractor Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) plead guilty in federal court Tuesday to fraud charges in connection to a multi-million dollar Navy bribery scheme.

Neil Peterson, 39, and Linda Raja, 44, admitted to conspiring to submit bogus bids, claims and invoices to the U.S. Navy. 

Peterson and Raja worked as chief deputies for Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, known by his nickname “Fat Leonard." Peterson served as the Vice President of the company and Raja was as General Manager for Singapore, Australia and the Pacific Isles.

Both were arrested in Singapore last year and extradited to the U.S. on Oct. 28. 

According to their plea agreement, Peterson and Raja admitted to submitting fraudulent claims and invoices to the U.S. Navy which contained false prices and information from actual businesses. The fraud was done to ensure GDMA's quote would be chosen as the lowest bidder by the U.S. Navy.

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The defendants also admitted to inflating prices set by the Port Authorities so that GDMA could charge more to the Navy.

NBC 7 has been following this investigation since September 2013.

A total of 20 defendants have been charged in connection to the investigation against "Fat Leonard" and his company, including Peterson and Raja.

In January 2015, “Fat Leonard” plead guilty to bribing senior navy officials in exchange for specific U.S. Navy warship movements so his company could overbill the Pentagon.

Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau became the first highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to be charged in the case in June, 2016. He pleaded guilty to one felony charge in connection to the years-long corruption and fraud scheme. 

Former civilian Defense Department Officer Paul Simpkins also entered a guilty plea in a federal court in San Diego.

Peterson and Raja will be sentenced on Aug. 11, 2017.

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