Singapore Contractor in Navy Bribes Case Sued Over Bills

Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Pte, the Singapore-based contractor whose chief executive officer has been charged with bribing U.S. Navy officials, was sued for failing to pay a supplier for marine fuel.

Transocean Oil Pte is seeking $879,000 and interest after Glenn Defense missed payments on a $2.2 million settlement agreement, according to a Nov. 11 lawsuit in the Singapore High Court. Transocean provides fuel to naval vessels including from the U.S., Japan and Singapore.

Two top U.S. Navy admirals have had their access to classified information suspended pending a review of allegations connected to the bribery probe. Glenn Defense CEO Leonard Glenn Francis, a U.S. Navy commander and a Navy Criminal Investigative Service officer have pleaded not guilty to charges of a conspiracy in which Francis provided prostitutes, travel expenses and entertainment in exchange for classified information about ship movements.

Neil Peterson, assistant vice president of global operations at Glenn Defense, declined to comment on the Singapore lawsuit. The company hasn’t filed its defense.

Navinder Singh, a lawyer representing Transocean, declined to comment on the Singapore company’s claim.

Revenue Streams

“My USN business is picking up and compounded with new revenue streams that are coming in,” Francis, referring to the U.S. Navy, wrote in a May 17 e-mail to Transocean and cited in the Singapore court papers. “You have my word that I have full intentions to clear these debts as soon as possible.”

Glenn Defense provided U.S. Navy ships with hundreds of millions of dollars in goods and services in at least a dozen countries for more than 25 years, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego.

Glenn Defense had blamed its delayed payments to Transocean on automatic budget cuts in the U.S. known as sequestration, according to Francis’s e-mail. The company was also impacted by “recent and sudden changes in the Navy’s change of schedule resulting from the Syrian situation which is unanticipated,” according to court papers, citing a Sept. 10 e-mail from Glenn Defense’s financial controller Chris Kirk.

Transocean is seeking an order for a vessel owned by Glenn Defense to be sold to repay the debt owed. The vessel, Glenn Gladiator, was arrested by the Singapore High Court sheriff on Sept. 20.

Glenn Defense in 2011 sued the U.S. claiming a decision to award a Navy port services contract to another company was arbitrary and based on a flawed evaluation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in June tossed the complaint and upheld an earlier ruling that the deal was lawfully awarded.

The cases are Transocean Oil Pte v Owner Charterer and/or Demise Charterer of vessel Glenn Australia. ADM318/2013. Transocean Oil Pte v Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) Pte. ADM347/2013. Singapore High Court.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrea Tan in Singapore at atan17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Douglas Wong at dwong19@bloomberg.net

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