Chief Petty Officer Sentenced to Prison in Latest "Fat Leonard" Case

blue ridge
USS Blue Ridge calls Busan, 2010 (USN)

Published Nov 2, 2020 10:01 PM by The Maritime Executive

A former chief petty officer has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for his role in the sprawling "Fat Leondard" bribery scheme. So far, nearly three dozen servicemembers and civilians have been charged in connection with the scheme, and many more active-duty and retired personnel have been administratively censured.

Prosecutors contend that now-retired chief petty officer Brooks Alonzo Parks received "gifts, lavish hotel suites, airline tickets and various other benefits" in exchange for providing ship chandler Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) with "sensitive and proprietary U.S. Navy information, including competitor pricing and U.S. Navy ship and personnel movement information." In all, the market value of these bribes came to more than $25,000. The activity occurred while Parks was the logistics lead petty officer (LPO) aboard the 7th Fleet command ship USS Blue Ridge, which gained notoriety as the nexus of the GDMA scandal. 

In email communications with GDMA personnel, Parks said that he had caught the "Glen [GDMA] bug," and he described exactly the goods and services that he would require in exchange for his assistance. This included top-tier accommodations at hotels in Singapore and Hong Kong during Blue Ridge's port calls.

In return for these bribes, Parks admittedly expedited GDMA's invoices, provided GDMA with bidding and pricing information in order to help it "crush a competitor," and gave GDMA a limited amount of port call scheduling information. 

"Brooks Parks’ sentencing is another unfortunate but fitting outcome because he willingly chose to put himself and his greed before the needs of the U.S. Navy," said Bryan D. Denny, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Western Field Office. "His actions were and remain inconsistent with the core values of the Navy."