A Malaysian Businessman Allegedly Traded Hookers and Lady Gaga Tickets for Navy Secrets

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 4 2013 2:52 PM

A Malaysian Businessman Allegedly Traded Hookers and Lady Gaga Tickets for Navy Secrets

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The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departs on July 25, 2010 from Busan, South Korea.

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas / U.S. Navy via Getty Images

The Associated Press brings us the latest details on a wide-ranging Navy corruption case that first came to light last month. Hookers? Check. Lady Gaga tickets? Check. A stage performance of The Lion King? Check.

Based on the court documents the AP got a look at it's unclear whether prosecutors are building a case against U.S. Navy officer Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Leonard Francis, a big-spending Malaysian defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard," or simply trying to create the greatest SEO line of all time. Here's the AP with the outlines of the charges:

Misiewicz and Francis moved Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where Francis could inflate costs, according to the criminal complaint. The firm overcharged the Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution alleges. ...
The company bilked the Navy out of $10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said.
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According to the documents, Francis provided Misiewicz with prostitutes and tickets to a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand. Francis also sent Misiewicz's family to Tokyo for a production of The Lion King. In return, Misiewicz provided Leonard with schedules of the movements of the USS George Washington Carrier Strike Group and other ships.

The court filing also includes email exchanges that show Misiewicz and Francis conspired to send ships away from their scheduled stops and redirect them to ports where Francis could take advantage of insufficient oversight and overcharge for his company's services.

The defendants face up to five years in prison and a trial date could be set at hearing this Friday. Head on over to the AP for more, including a few details on just how lavish a life Francis leads.

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