U.S. Navy Officers Allegedly Traded Favors for an Orgy in Douglas MacArthur’s Relic Room

A new indictment in the Fat Leonard corruption scandal reads like a porn novel

U.S. Navy Officers Allegedly Traded Favors for an Orgy in Douglas MacArthur’s Relic Room U.S. Navy Officers Allegedly Traded Favors for an Orgy in Douglas MacArthur’s Relic Room
For years, Malaysian playboy and defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis — often called Fat Leonard by his buds — effectively controlled the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet. Fat Leonard... U.S. Navy Officers Allegedly Traded Favors for an Orgy in Douglas MacArthur’s Relic Room

For years, Malaysian playboy and defense contractor Leonard Glenn Francis — often called Fat Leonard by his buds — effectively controlled the U.S. Navy’s Pacific fleet.

Fat Leonard spent millions of dollars bribing officers of the Seventh Fleet and in exchange those officers made sure the U.S. Navy’s most powerful ships sailed into ports controlled by Francis’ company. When the ships docked, Fat Leonard overcharged for basic services such as fuel, food and sewage.

U.S. federal agents arrested Fat Leonard and Navy officers implicated in his scam, and the Justice Department has spent the past few years digging through a treasure trove of emails, receipts and phone records. On March 14, 2017, the department handed down an indictment that charged eight more Navy officers — including Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless — with taking part in the conspiracy.

The 79-page indictment is an incredible document. The word prostitutes appears 28 times and the charges include a detailed account of Fat Leonard’s bribes. The Malaysian kingpin ran “a rotating carousel of prostitutes,” threw wild sex parties and even hosted an orgy that involved memorabilia of famed U.S. Army general Douglas MacArthur, according to the indictment.

In case you’re fuzzy on the details of this particular scandal, it’s worth beginning with the opening of the indictment.

“It was an object of the conspiracy for the defendants to use their official positions and individual and combined influence in the U.S. Navy to perform official acts … to advance GDMA’s interests.”

GDMA is Glenn Defense Marine Asia — the defense contractor Fat Leonard took over from his father. “In return, Francis and others would offer and give a stream of benefits to or on behalf of the defendants, including, among other things of value, meals, entertainment, travel and hotel expenses, gifts, cash, and the service of prostitutes.”

The group of conspirators was so close with Francis that they all nicknames, according to the indictment. The team called Fat Leonard Lion King, L.K. or Boss. “Defendants referred to themselves collectively … by terms such as ‘the Cool Kids,’ ‘the Band of Brothers,’ ‘the Brotherhood,’ ‘the Wolfpack,’ the ‘familia’ and ‘the Lion King’s Harem,’” the indictment added.

For a few years, the Lion King’s Harem tore up the Pacific like a group of rowdy teenagers. On Feb. 16, 2006, the Seventh Fleet’s Judge Advocate General sent an ethics message to the Seventh’s leadership warning them to remember that taking gifts, especially gifts from contractors, was a no-no. But according to U.S. attorneys, the Cool Kids forwarded the message to the Lion King so he knew to keep their relationship a secret.

“The next day,” the indictment stated. “During the [command ship] USS Blue Ridge’s port visit to Hong Kong, [the Cool Kids] and others dined and drank at Francis’s expense at the Petrus Restaurant in Hong Kong at a cost to Francis of $20,435.”

Twenty grand for a small group of people is one hell of a meal, but it was nothing compared to the extravagant dinner that came a month later.

In April of 2006, Fat Leonard treated members of Lion King’s Harem to a fancy meal at the Jaan Restaurant in Singapore, the prosecutors allege. “At dinner, defendants and others enjoyed foi gras terrine, duck leg confit, ox-tail soup, and roasted Chilean sea bass, paired with expensive wine and champagne, followed by digestifs and cigars, namely, Hennessy Private Reserve — approximately $600 per bottle — and Paradis Extra — approximately $2,000 per bottle — and Cohiba Cigars — $2,000 per box.”

A month after that decadent meal, Fat Leonard sent an email to one of the Cool Kids asking him to influence Navy officials. The Nimitz-class carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was in the area and Francis wanted GDMA to service the ship. Hornbeck replied by asking Fat Leonard if he was hiring in San Diego, then — according to the indictment — added “[I]f there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

After some dithering and pressure from Fat Leonard’s Harem, the Navy sent the Abraham Lincoln to a GDMA port in Thailand. “[Let’s] start [sending] more ships there as we have all the pier space to accommodate 2 [strike groups,]” Fat Leonard wrote in an email to his Navy buddies. “Don’t send ships to Phuket [Thailand] … [just] keep sending them over to [my port.]”

Then there were the orgies. According to the indictment, “Francis hosted and paid for a lavish party and the services of prostitutes in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila Hotel, attended by [some of the Cool Kids], among others. During the party, historical memorabilia related to Gen. Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts.”

That room in the Manila Hotel was the room MacArthur used to command operations in the Pacific Theater during World War II. It’s got his desk, his chair and various artifacts that once belonged the famed general. Yes, including one of his famous corncob pipes. These Navy officers allegedly fucked prostitutes all over that room and brought MacArthur’s former possessions into the mix.

That’s not all. In late May 2008, Fat Leonard booked the Presidential Suite at the Makati Shangri-La in Manila.

“In this venue,” the indictment stated. “Francis hosted a raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitute in attendance, during which the conspirators drank all of the Dom Perignon available at the Shangri-La. Room and alcohol charges born by Francis exceeded $50,000”

Think about that. The party got so crazy, that the Lion King’s Harem drank every single bottle of Dom Perignon in the entire hotel. A few days later, one of the Cool Kids emailed Fat Leonard to tell him, “I finally detoxed myself from Manila. That was a crazy couple of days. It’s been awhile since I’ve done 36 hours of straight drinking!!!”

The indictment is jam packed with other bits of horrible graft. The Lion King doled out iPads, concert tickets, prostitutes and fabulous dinners to his Harem on the regular. He emailed pictures of the prostitutes to the Cool Kids, writing, “I thought this photo will bring memories of … Manila.”

Fat Leonard even took care of their wives, purchasing a Versace purse worth more than $10,000 for one, according to the Justice Department, alleging that he personally made sure it was repaired when it arrived damaged to the recipient.

It’ll take time to prosecute all those involved, but the evidence against them is damning. Fat Leonard sits in a jail as I write this, found guilty but not yet sentenced. The U.S. government keeps pushing back the date of his sentencing, and every time it does, a few more Navy officers — 25 now who have been either charged or are facing charges — emerge from the swamp.