Retired Navy captain indicted in notorious 'Fat Leonard' bribery scandal

Retired Navy captain indicted in notorious bribery scandal
Published: Aug. 19, 2018 at 1:18 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 19, 2018 at 9:24 AM HST
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A retired Navy captain living in Kailua was recently indicted in the notorious "Fat Leonard" bribery scandal.

Officials say 50-year-old David Haas is accused of taking $145,000 in bribes from Malaysia-based defense contractor Leonard Francis, commonly known as "Fat Leonard".

Francis admitted to bribing Navy officials with cash, prostitutes and other gifts in exchange for information to help his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

A San Diego grand jury says that in 2011, Francis paid more than $20,000 so Haas and other Navy officers could party with prostitutes. At the time, Haas was director of Maritime Operations for the Seventh Fleet staff aboard the USS Blue Ridge.

In 2012, Francis also allegedly spent $75,000 in Tokyo, Japan, to pay for for a two-day party for Haas and others including transportation, dinner and entertainment at several hostess clubs where the services of prostitutes were provided.

Francis gave Haas cash in exchange for the retired Navy captain's approval of GDMA's fraudulently inflated ship invoices, according to the indictment.

Haas is also accused of repeatedly asking Francis for cash to build his retirement home in the Philippines, among other things.

He allegedly received about $40,000 in cash from Francis during the course of their dealings, in addition to several other occasions when Francis paid for expensive hotel stays, transportation, and entertainment.

Haas faces several charges including conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

It is unclear at this point in time if Haas has entered a plea in response to the accusations.

Francis however, pleaded guilty to bribery and corruption charges in 2015 and is cooperating with investigators.

So far, 32 defendants have been charged and 20 have pleaded guilty in the U.S. Navy bribery and fraud scandal, according to the United States Department of Justice.

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