Suspect Caught for a Navy Bribery Charge
(AmericanProsperity.com) – A man by the name of Leonard Glenn Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard,” recently escaped US law enforcement and made a run for it. Francis was on house arrest for a Navy bribery scheme. The Malaysian defense contractor was trying to make his way to a country where American authorities couldn’t reach him and nearly got away with it.
Francis milked $35 million from the US Navy using his company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA). The defense contractor overcharged navy ships that would use his ports in Southeast Asia and bribe officers with alcohol, sex parties, money, and other gifts to conceal the scheme.
Federal authorities conducted a sting operation nearly a decade ago, which led to Fat Leonard’s arrest. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2015 and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement. The court, in turn, allowed him to remain on house arrest. With Francis’s help, prosecutors were able to convict 33 of the 34 defendants, which included over two dozen officers in the US Navy.
Fat Leonard’s escape was almost as impressive as the bribery scheme. On September 4, he cut off the GPS ankle monitor federal authorities outfitted him with as part of his house arrest. Francis was able to flee his home despite the fact security was supposed to be keeping an eye on him. Omar Castillo, Supervisory Deputy US Marshal, claimed that when his agents arrived at the home, around seven hours after the suspect made his escape, there were no security guards present. The US Marshals believe he removed the ankle monitor, which they found in his residence, using a heavy-duty pair of scissors.
The Supervisory Deputy noted someone called the San Diego Police Department, which sent officers to check the house and found it empty around 2 p.m. Officers contacted the agency in charge of Francis’s confinement, US Pre-Trial Services, which then called the US Marshals. Castillo admitted he was unsure if security guards were supposed to be stationed at the home, citing claims from neighbors they had observed U-Haul trucks arriving and departing the home a day or two before Fat Leonard’s escape.
Francis traveled through Mexico to Cuba and then eventually Venezuela, where authorities discovered and apprehended him. Fat Leonard’s arrest occurred on September 20 at the Simón Bolívar International Airport. Carlos Garate Rondon, the Interpol Venezuela Director General, declared Francis was on his way to Russia.
The agency handed Fat Leonard over to Venezuela’s judicial authorities so they could begin the process of extraditing him to the US. A former Army lawyer, Greg Rinckey, noted Francis was attempting to escape the grasp of US law enforcement. If the subject had made it to Russia, the country wasn’t likely to have sent him back to the States.
Venezuela and the US do have an extradition agreement, but there hasn’t been any detail as to when the country will send Fat Leonard back to America. Complications between the two nations’ governments make cooperation between their respective law enforcements rare.
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