Fat Leonard

By Project Brazen Originals

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“Fat Leonard” is the most shocking unknown tale of our era: Leonard Francis, a 350-pound defense contractor, bribed U.S. Navy officers with cash, prostitutes and luxury items in return for fraudulent multi-million-dollar deals. Eventually the NCIS set up an off-the-books operation to entrap Leonard. As details of his fraud became clear, the Navy moved to protect its senior ranks. In “Fat Leonard,” the debut podcast from Project Brazen (the content studio created by “Billion Dollar Whale” co-authors and former Wall Street Journal reporters Bradley Hope and Tom Wright), Leonard himself, detained since 2013, is talking for the first time -- and he’s angry. Host Tom Wright has spent hours with Leonard, but also recording scores of other voices, including the brave women who exposed the fraud. The alarming and sordid details in “Fat Leonard” lay bare the misogyny and sexual abuse that persist in the U.S. military and could destabilize the biggest trials yet of Navy officers in this case, set to begin in 2022. “Fat Leonard” will change the way you look at the Navy forever.

Episode Date
#9: Different Spanks

With Leonard in jail, the Navy investigates hundreds of officers. But they spare top admirals. Tom’s relationship with Leonard reaches breaking point. A major trial of U.S. Navy officers is set to start in February. Watch out for bonus episodes. 

Nov 23, 2021
#8: The Sting

Beaten and angry, Marcy Misiewicz makes a decision that will bring down Leonard, and her husband along with him.

Nov 16, 2021
#7: Suppos

A cocksure Navy officer called David Schaus takes on Leonard. He’s joined by a principled Navy supply official called Teresa Kelly. Finally, they force Navy admirals, who for years have given him cover, to take Leonard’s fraud seriously.

Nov 08, 2021
#6: Morena

Leonard’s cruel treatment of his Filipina girlfriend, Morena De Jesus, and their children together, exposes his dark side. A fraught relationship with his own father could hold the key to understanding Leonard.

Nov 02, 2021
#5: Marcy

Michael Misiewicz was a rising star in the Navy before Leonard corrupts him with prostitutes, cash and free travel. We see the descent of one officer into graft and violence through the voice of his wife, Marcy Misiewicz.

Oct 26, 2021
#4: The Braveheart

How Leonard buys his own warship, the Braveheart, complete with a mercenary army, and deploys it to help fight Al Qaeda. He secretly records orgies with Navy officers, causing one of the U.S.’s worst ever national security breaches.

Oct 19, 2021
#3: Paula

We look back at the Tailhook sexual assault scandal of 1991 through the voice of Navy whistleblower Paula Coughlin. The Navy’s problem with misogyny is deep seated and it set the stage for Leonard’s rise.

Oct 12, 2021
#2: Ring of Steel

Out of jail, aged 21, Leonard begins his career as a defense contractor, just as the U.S. embarks on its Forever Wars. Through skill, bribes and luck, we chart the Wolf of Wall Street-like rise of Leonard, on the back of a product called the Ring of Steel. 

Oct 05, 2021
#1: Paper Ships

Leonard Francis became the most powerful military contractor in the Pacific, running a mafia organization at the heart of the U.S. Navy. He’s over 300 pounds, and charming. We meet him in jail, and explore why he’s talking exclusively to our host, author and journalist Tom Wright. We explore Leonard’s troubled childhood. It turns out this isn’t his first time in prison.

Oct 05, 2021
Introducing Fat Leonard

​​Leonard Francis, AKA Fat Leonard, is angry, and he’s talking for the first time. His explosive story will change the way you look at the U.S. Navy forever.

Sep 27, 2021