Commander Gave Up Navy Secrets for Gaga Tix

Federal case takes on Malaysia's 'Fat Leonard'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 4, 2013 9:02 AM CST

(Newser) – It has the makings of a Hollywood movie: secrets, bribes, and a Malaysian businessman dubbed "Fat Leonard." A Navy scandal involving prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets continues to unfold, with the AP reporting it's not just a corruption case, but involves "serious national security breaches." Navy commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, who has been arrested, allegedly gave Malaysian businessman Leonard Francis' company, Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., secret information on ship routes and was handed the aforementioned prostitutes and Gaga tickets in exchange. As previously reported, Misiewicz and Francis allegedly directed ships to Asian ports where Francis could overcharge the Navy for services and invented tariffs; his underhanded operations cost the Navy some $10 million in Thailand in a year, says a US attorney.

Leonard has also been arrested, as has John Beliveau II, who allegedly kept Francis apprised of the progress of the probe, which began in 2010; Beliveau got trips and prostitutes in return. Other Navy figures—possibly high-ranking ones—could be implicated in the case, though their names don't appear in the complaint, the AP notes. Francis and Misiewicz are both big names in the Navy world; in 2010, Misiewicz made headlines with his return to Cambodia after escaping the Khmer Rouge as a kid. As for Francis, "he's a larger-than-life figure," says the retired officer. "You talk to any captain on any ship that has sailed in the Pacific and they will know exactly who he is."

In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, navy officer Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz embraces his aunt at a port in Cambodia.
In this photo taken Dec. 3, 2010, navy officer Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz embraces his aunt at a port in Cambodia.   (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)
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