The longest running US Navy Bribery scandal

He's known as Fat Leonard. He's at the heart of the longest running US Navy bribery, corruption and fraud scandal of all time, indicting more than 30 US Navy officials and defence contractors.

The US Navy bribery scandal is spectacular in scale and sordidness.

Though not in any way as sophisticated as 1MDB, it's an important case study in Malaysia, on how the use of gifts, cash, hospitality, travel, entertainment and the physical side of things, can corruptly influence even a US Navy Commander and a US Rear Admiral, of the formidable US Navy's Seventh Fleet.

Among other things, the US Seventh Fleet operates in South East Asia and patrols the South China Sea.

Once a human weakness is known, it can be easily exploited by the unscrupulous.

Illustrious careers were traded for expensive dinners, luxurious hotel accommodation, parties with prostitutes, exotic travel, lavish gifts ~ though perhaps not Birkin handbags or a pink diamond necklace. The gifts were pretty 'modest' in comparison, such as Cuban cigars and ornamental swords.

These distinguished gentlemen conspired to trade military secrets ~ classified information on movement of US Navy ships in the Region ~ and substantial influence, that allowed Fat Leonard's company to win & maintain contracts and over-bill the US Navy by USD35 million.

His influence over the upper echelon of the US Navy was so complete that Fat Leonard was able to get inflated invoices approved, competition suppressed in contract awards, quash bid protests filed by competitors and fraudulent claims paid.

Quite literally, the allegiance of the Commander and the Rear Admiral, among others, shifted from the US Navy to Fat Leonard.

In corporations, Compliance & Ethics professionals strive to instill a culture of integrity starting from the top. Sometimes this can be a running battle if the top echelon is already compromised through unknown or unclear private allegiances.

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