‘Fat Leonard’, fugitive contractor in US navy’s worst corruption scandal, arrested in Venezuela

2 months ago 57

A Malaysian defence contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated 1 of the largest bribery scandals successful US subject past has been arrested successful Venezuela after fleeing earlier his sentencing, authorities say.

The planetary manhunt for Leonard Glenn Francis ended with his apprehension by Venezuelan authorities connected Tuesday greeting astatine the Caracas airdrome arsenic helium was astir to committee an airplane for different country, the US Marshals Service said connected Wednesday.

The apprehension came connected the eve of his scheduled sentencing successful a national tribunal successful California for a bribery strategy that lasted much than a decennary and progressive dozens of US navy officers.

There was nary contiguous connection connected erstwhile helium mightiness beryllium extradited to the US.

Francis was nether location apprehension successful San Diego erstwhile helium chopped disconnected his GPS ankle bracelet and escaped connected 4 September. Ten US agencies searched for Francis and authorities issued a $40,000 reward for his arrest.

Leonard Francis, besides  known arsenic  Fat Leonard, successful  an undated photo
Leonard Francis, besides known arsenic Fat Leonard, allegedly chopped disconnected his GPS ankle show and near his location aboriginal this month. Photograph: AP

US authorities besides issued a reddish notice, which asks instrumentality enforcement worldwide to provisionally apprehension idiosyncratic with the anticipation of extradition. Malaysia and Singapore some person extradition agreements with the US.

Francis pleaded blameworthy successful 2015 to offering prostitution services, luxury hotels, cigars, gourmet meals and much than $500,000 successful bribes to navy officials and others to assistance his Singapore-based vessel servicing company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd oregon GDMA. Prosecutors said the institution overcharged the Navy by astatine slightest $35m for servicing ships, galore of which were routed to ports helium controlled successful the Pacific.

Officers progressive successful the scam called themselves the Lion’s King Harem, Brotherhood, Wolfpack arsenic they sought to enlistee others to the scam, according to prosecutors.

Francis had been allowed to stay successful location confinement to person aesculapian attraction portion helium cooperated with the prosecution. With his help, prosecutors secured convictions of 33 of 34 defendants, including much than 2 twelve Navy officers.

Four navy officers person been recovered blameworthy successful narration to the scandal. A further 29 people, including naval officials, contractors and Francis, had pleaded guilty, US media said.

With Associated Press