Francis planned to follow the Nimitz to its next stop in Hong Kong, where he promised to entertain the two officers again. “Looking forward to some major engagement in HK bachelors pad,” he wrote them in an email.
Instead, after a last-minute schedule change, the Nimitz returned to Singapore. In an email to Francis, Gilbeau asked if the contractor could arrange to take the two officers back to the same nightclub. His friend, he explained, wanted to see a “handball player” they had met during their last time in Singapore — a woman whom prosecutors described as “a particularly memorable prostitute.”
Francis enthusiastically agreed. “The Kahuna above has heard our prayers, will be standin by to Welcome you all back home to Papa Leonard soon,” he emailed. “The handball player is waiting eagerly to play.”
During the same 2003 port visit, prosecutors allege, Francis and Gilbeau conspired to overcharge the Navy for services provided to the Nimitz. Invoices show that Francis’s firm billed the Navy for pumping about 450,000 gallons of sewage and wastewater from the Nimitz over four days — about triple the usual amount.
Prosecutors contend that in exchange for approving the invoices, Gilbeau accepted about $40,000 in cash kickbacks from Francis. (Gilbeau has previously denied receiving money from the contractor.)
Their relationship resumed in 2005 when Gilbeau returned to Singapore to help coordinate the Navy’s tsunami relief efforts in the region.
Prosecutors allege that Gilbeau, who dubbed himself “Tsunami Bob,” went to dinner with Francis and partied with him at karaoke bars on three or four occasions. In addition, they allege that Francis, who called Gilbeau “Crazy Bob” or “Casanova,” paid for him to stay at the Singapore Marriott and other hotels several times.
Francis provided prostitutes to dozens of Navy officials over the years, and kept meticulous notes about the sailors’ physical desires so he could cater to their preferences, according to court records and interviews with people familiar with his methods.
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