Navy Commander Pleads Guilty in 'Fat Leonard' Scandal

FILE - Leonard Glenn Francis (right) was known as "Fat Leonard."
FILE - Leonard Glenn Francis (right) was known as "Fat Leonard."

SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Navy commander has pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his role in a fraud and bribery scheme that cost the government about $35 million.

Cmdr. Bobby Pitts of Virginia entered the plea Tuesday in San Diego.

He's the 18th person to plead guilty in connection with a decade-long scam linked to a Singapore defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard" Francis.

Authorities say Francis bribed scores of Navy officials to help him overbill the Navy for fuel, food and other services his company provided to ships docked in Asian ports. The bribes allegedly ranged from cash and prostitutes to Cuban cigars and Spanish suckling pigs.

Authorities say Pitts tried to obstruct a federal investigation while in charge of the Navy's Fleet Industrial Supply Command in Singapore.

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