The Daily Telegraph

‘Fat Leonard’ goes on the run before sentencing in US navy bribery case


A MALAYSIAN businessma­n known as “Fat Leonard” has escaped house arrest and is on the run, weeks before he was due to be sentenced over his role in one of the largest corruption scandals in the history of the US navy.

Leonard Glenn Francis was three weeks away from sentencing after pleading guilty in 2015 to offering $500,000 (£430,000) in bribes to US navy officers to secure work for his shipyards, and to swindling the navy out of $35million in overcharge­s.

Prosecutor­s say that to gain influence and access to military intelligen­ce he lured navy officers with money, with lavish meals and hedonistic alcoholfue­lled parties in upscale hotels.

It was clear he had fled after police arrived at his home on Sunday after being notified of an anomaly in his GPS operated ankle bracelet by the federal agency monitoring him.

“Upon arrival, they noticed that nobody was home,” Omar Castillo, supervisor­y deputy US marshal, said. The sheared bracelet was left behind, and the San Diego regional fugitive task force began a manhunt, with the Naval Criminal Investigat­ive Service.

Neighbours in the gated community said they had seen removal vans going in and out of Mr Francis’s home in the days leading up to his escape, The San Diego Union-tribune reported.

“He was planning this out, that’s for sure,” Mr Castillo said.

The decade-long fraud and bribery inquiry into Mr Francis and his military contractin­g firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, revealed lurid details of how officers on port visits in South East Asia were entertaine­d with prostitute­s, expensive cigars and expensive alcohol.

 ?? ?? The Malaysian was three weeks away from sentencing
The Malaysian was three weeks away from sentencing

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