The crooked Malaysian businessman known as Fat Leonard, who brought down Navy top brass in one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the military, has broken his silence in a stunning new podcast where he boasts about plying admirals with booze and prostitutes, and the sweet informant deal he struck with the US government.
Francis Glenn Leonard, 57, was arrested after the scandal erupted in 2013.
Famous for his towering portliness, he is known widely as Fat Leonard and the scandal - which toppled dozens of Navy officers and implicated commanders and admirals- became known by that nickname.
Leonard was arrested in 2013 and pleaded guilty to fraud and bribery after spending years plying the Navy with gifts, cash, trips and prostitutes' in exchange for favorable contracts and secret information.
He flipped after his arrest and agreed to testify against the Navy as part of a sweeping prosecution by the Department of Justice's that remains ongoing; seven Navy officers are still awaiting trial and Leonard is the star witness.
Despite being told by the government not to talk, Leonard - who has kidney cancer - is revealing how he infilitrated the upper echelons of the Navy in Fat Leonard, a new nine-part podcast by author and journalist Tom Wright, which DailyMail.com has previewed.
'Fat Leonard', aka Leonard Glenn Francis, the Malaysian businessman who infiltrated the US Navy in Manila and blackmailed officers into giving him favors and shipping routes, is speaking out in a new podcast
'Everybody was in my pocket. I had them rolling around in my palm. I had the Navy by their balls. I turned my torpedo, my guns against them, because they betrayed me,' Leonard says in one episode.
He also revealed that the government had arranged for visas for his whole family, saying: 'Everybody came legally. Uncle Sam knows, everybody knows what I’m doing. My children are my children.
They wanted to have the good life that they could not have. They wanted the fine dining, the fine gifts, hotel rooms, sedans, luxury cars, watches, handbags, fancy meals, alcohol, cigars
'My wellbeing is more important than anyone else… I am their star witness,' Leonard said.
Wright shared unreleased episodes with DailyMail.com where Leonard, 'entirely unrepentant', calls the mother of his children a 'prostitute' and reveals that the US government gave his kids visas in order for them to come to the country and be with him.
In one episode, he talks proudly about going after Michael Misiewicz, a commander who he supplied with prostitutes in Tokyo in exchange for secret shipping routes to Australia.
‘Misciewicz had value, you know, he was like the number two guy in the scheduling department.
'If you look at him, he’s actually a really nice guy, very gentle personality, friendly, great dad to his kids, womanizer...' Leonard said, adding that his number two - New Yorker Edmond Aruffo - 'embedded' him.
‘They wanted to have the good life that they could not have. They wanted the fine dining, the fine gifts, hotel rooms, sedans, luxury cars, watches, handbags, fancy meals, alcohol, cigars,' he said.
Leonard is shown with Rear Admiral Bolivar, who was investigated as part of the scandal.
Fat Leonard, aka Leonard Glenn Francis, on his warship - the USS Braveheart - which he bought. He is obsessed with American culture and speaks with an American accent, despite never having lived in the US
Leonard had infiltrated Misiewicz's family and friends while he was working on the USS Blue Ridge out of Manila in 2011.
He gave him and his family tickets to the Lion King in Tokyo, bought his wife Marcy a Gucci handbag when she became suspicious of him, and arranged for Michael to sleep with prostitutes in Tokyo on a regular basis.
The scheme came crashing down in 2013 after Marcy Misiewicz, Michael's wife, suspected he was cheating on her and confronted him. He struck her and she reported it to the NCIS, which started filtering through Michael's emails.
Among them were exchanges with Leonard, where Michael had supplied secret shipping routes to Australia.
Leonard, who had a spy in the NCIS, found out and tried to placate her but he was eventually arrested, along with Misiewicz, who was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Marcy is interviewed in one episode and talks about balking at Leonard's 'smarmy' right-hand-man, Ed Aruffo.
'I played professional and sexual... the Navy expected me to put on these orgies and these parties,' Leonard says of his role in the Navy. He organized parties for officers throughout Asia. Above, an unidentified group at one party
More Navy senior officials at a party Leonard says he threw for them in his unofficial role
Aruffo, a New Yorker, was Leonard's man on the inside. He helped him choose the Navy commanders and officers to corrupt.
She told DailyMail.com on Wednesday that she never spoke to Leonard - the man who tore apart her family by corrupting her husband's once stellar career.
'Listening to Leonard is like he and Ed have the same personality. It's the same nauseating feeling I get when I hear him as I did with Ed.'
She said she 'never in a million years' would have thought her husband would have sex with prostitutes, and that she can 'only imagine' why he did.
Marcy was interviewed by the NCIS in Yokosuka Japan, where she lived with off-base with the couple's four kids, after the incident where her husband struck her.
They said they had received an anonymous tip about her husband's involvement with Leonard. She filed for divorce before Michael's arrest, returning to Illinois with the couple's four kids.
She does not have 'much' contact with him now, nor do the children.
Marcy does not blame Leonard for the destruction of her family, instead calling him the 'mastermind' of a plot that many were willingly sucked into.
'I'm not sure you can pinpoint it on one person, it's a recipe for disaster. Leonard is a mastermind, but people have to be easily swayed.
'He found their Achilles heel. It's multilayered and a lot falls through the cracks,' she said.
Obsessed with America and specifically The Godfather, Leonard - who has a $130million mansion in Singapore - bought his own warship, the Braveheart, and kept a crew on board.
Captain Jeffrey Breslau (left) was sentenced to six months and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless (right) was arrested but he retired from the Navy
Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau (left) was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Commander Michael Misiewicz (right) was sentenced to six years
'He had his cell phone programmed to 'God Bless America', he wore stars and stripes neckties, he talks with an American accent even though he never lived in the US..
'He’s a conman. He’s able to charm – I got charmed by him in the process of talking to him in 20 hours,' Wright told DailyMail.com on Wednesday.
He revealed why Leonard thinks he did nothing wrong, in the grand scheme of his contributions to the US Armed Forces.
Leonard claims that although he is 'foul' he is 'deeply Catholic' and performed a 'good job' for the Navy
'He’s entirely unrepentant. He has a point that he did a very good job for the Navy; if it's the job of a bad man to open up ports to the Navy in corrupt places, then he did a good job.
'He was able to help the fleet, he had his own warship, a flotilla of 180 ships, went on al Qaeda missions, he was really part of the Navy.
'He did do a good job and he will say, "I played professional and sexual... the Navy expected me to put on these orgies and these parties."
'Ultimately though this is a story about the war on terror and how much money was flowing. This never should have happened and this is the US taxpayer who pays for it,' Wright added.
In one episode, Leonard talks about why he loves the movie The Godfather so much.
'How the family was so close knit and how much respect and power a single don could have over an entire clan.'
He is not so close-knit with his own family; Wright reveals how one of his former partners, Morena, is fighting for custody of their kids.
Despite courts in Singapore and the Philippines ruling that the kids belong with her, they ended up in San Diego, under Leonard's care, in a house-arrest apartment. She was unaware until Wright, who first started speaking with Leonard remotely in February 2020, told her.
She told the podcast how he cheated on her frequently when they were together, something he doesn't deny in the case of Morena or any other relationship he has had.
'They came to me with their eyes open, they weren’t blind. They all knew I had multiple wives and partners. I was a playboy – they all knew it. It wasn’t like I was the Virgin Mary.
'Females out there are dropping like flies. I push everybody away. It comes with problems. I’ve had multiple partners, wives – it’s not like I’m a bad husband, it’s just that women can’t keep up with me,' Leonard says.
He says cruelly of his ex-wives: 'The first wife was just too lazy for me. The second one was messing around – she said I was impotent and that’s why we couldn’t have kids. BS.
'She was on birth control and just trying to keep her figure.’
He also revealed how his own father beat his mother and cheated on her when he was a child, but that he never abandoned him because 'you only get one mother and father'.
'The kids want to be with me of course, I’m super daddy, mommy, granddaddy everything. I’m a very open book dad. I don’t hide anything. These little ones now, I’m here for them.
The Braveheart, Fat Leonard's warship, which he bought in 2003, was used as a 'floating brothel', according to some of those interviewed as part of the investigation
'When you’re wealthy, everybody wants a piece of cake. I bring up my kids, I love my kids. I don’t have babies just for fun. I love children and I enjoy doing what I do,' he said.
Leonard also suggests that some of the most senior admirals he corrupted are being protected by the Navy, a claim that is bolstered by the fact that some were disciplined in military courts, whereas others were pursued by the Department of Justice.
'Some of the more senior admirals got handled by the Navy because then they can be brushed under the carpet, it’s little more than a slap on the wrist, they call it “different spanks for different ranks”.
'If you’re an admiral you don’t get punished to the same degree as if you’re junior,' Wright said.
The Department of Justice has not addressed the discrepancy, nor has it answered why Leonard's kids were allowed to be put into his care when two separate foreign courts have ruled that they should be returned to their mother.
It's also unclear what will become of his house-arrest set-up now that he has spoken publicly, potentially jeopardizing his deal with the DoJ.
Mark Pletcher, the chief prosecutor in the case, did not respond to DailyMail.com's inquiries.
Fat Leonard is a nine-part podcast hosted by journalist and author Tom Wright. It can be found at PRX, here.