‘Fat Leonard’ scandal claims high-ranking US Navy captain

Officer described as ‘golden asset’ for ability to steer aircraft carriers to Port Klang, Malaysia.

A top US Navy captain faces close to four years in jail for his part in the ‘Fat Leonard’ scandal that saw kickbacks traded for lucrative naval contracts.

Daniel Dusek, 49, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for giving classified information to a Singapore defense contractor in exchange for prostitutes, luxury travel and other gifts.

He was also ordered to pay a $70,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the US Navy.

Dusek pleaded guilty in January 2015 to a single count of conspiracy to commit bribery.  He admitted that he used his influence to benefit Leonard Glenn Francis – a larger-than-life character best known by his nickname “Fat Leonard” and his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

For decades, GDMA provided port services to US Navy ships and in return, Francis plied Dusek with meals, alcohol, entertainment, gifts, dozens of nights and incidentals at luxury hotels and the services of prostitutes, Dusek admitted.

In one instance, Dusek arranged for an aircraft carrier – the USS Abraham Lincoln – to stop at Port Klang, Malaysia, a port terminal owned by Francis. The 2010 port visit cost the US about $1.6m, officials said.

Underscoring his importance to the conspiracy, in an email to one of his employees, Francis wrote: “(Dusek) is a golden asset to drive the big decks (aircraft carriers) into our fat revenue GDMA ports.”

US Attorney Laura Duffy commented: “Captain Dusek’s betrayal is the most distressing because the Navy placed so much trust, power and authority in his hands.”

Dusek is the highest-ranking officer to be charged in one of the US military’s worst ever bribery scandals.

To date, 10 individuals have been charged in connection with this scheme; of those, nine have pleaded guilty, including Dusek.