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Fugitive in Massive Navy Bribery Case Arrested in Venezuela

San Diego A Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated the biggest bribery scandal in US military history was arrested in Venezuela after he fled before sentencing, officials said Wednesday.

An international investigation into Leonard Glenn Francis ended Tuesday morning when Venezuelan authorities arrested him at Caracas airport for trying to board a flight to another country, the US Marshals Service said.

The arrest comes on the eve of a scheduled ruling in federal court in California over a bribery scheme that lasted more than a decade and involved dozens of U.S. Navy officers.

There was no immediate word on when he would be extradited to the United States.

Francis was under house arrest in San Diego, but on September 4, he cut off the GPS bracelet on his ankle and escaped. His ten agencies in the United States searched for Francis, and authorities offered him a $40,000 bounty for his arrest.

U.S. authorities have also issued red notices calling on law enforcement agencies around the world to make provisional arrests of potential extraditionists. Malaysia and Singapore both have extradition agreements with the United States.

In 2015, Francis provided prostitution services, luxury hotels, cigars, gourmet meals, and bribes of more than $500,000 to naval officials, among others, to sell his services to Singapore-based ship services company Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. (GDMA). pleaded guilty to assisting Prosecutors said the company overcharged the Navy by at least $35 million for the maintenance of the vessel.

Francis was allowed under house arrest to receive medical care while cooperating with the prosecution. With his help, prosecutors won convictions for 33 of his 34 defendants, among whom he included more than 20 naval officers.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/politics/2022/09/22/fugitive-in-massive-navy-bribery-case-caught-in-venezuela/ Fugitive in Massive Navy Bribery Case Arrested in Venezuela

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