‘Fat Leonard’ nabbed in Venezuela after fleeing US Navy trial | News

Leonard Glenn Francis fled the US earlier this month forward of sentencing for his position in a large bribery scandal.

A Malaysian defence contractor – popularly known as “Fat Leonard” – who orchestrated one of many largest bribery scandals in United States navy historical past has been arrested in Venezuela.

A global manhunt was launched for Leonard Glenn Francis earlier this month after he fled the US forward of his scheduled sentencing for his position within the large bribery scandal involving dozens of US naval officers.

The hunt ended with Francis’s arrest by Venezuelan authorities on Tuesday morning at Caracas airport as he was about to board an aeroplane for an additional nation, the US Marshals Service stated on Wednesday.

Carlos Garate Rondon, the director normal of Venezuela’s workplace of the worldwide police company Interpol, stated in an announcement posted on Instagram that Francis got here to Venezuela from Mexico and that he was headed onward to Russia.

Francis’s arrest got here on the eve of his scheduled sentencing in a federal courtroom in California for a bribery scheme that lasted greater than a decade and concerned dozens of US Navy officers.

There was no fast phrase on when he could be extradited to the US.

Francis was confined to residence arrest in San Diego when he minimize off his GPS ankle bracelet and escaped on September 4. Ten US businesses have looked for Francis and a $40,000 reward was offered by the US Marshals Service and the NCIS [Naval Criminal Investigative Service].

US authorities additionally issued an Interpol crimson discover, which asks legislation enforcement worldwide to provisionally arrest somebody with the opportunity of extradition. It was thought that Francis had fled to Mexico as step one in a journey that may return him to Asia.

Malaysia and Singapore each have extradition agreements with the US.

Francis pleaded responsible in 2015 to providing prostitution companies, luxurious journey and motels, lavish meals and greater than $500,000 in bribes to US Navy officers and others to assist his Singapore-based ship servicing firm, Glenn Protection Marine Asia Ltd or GDMA, safe profitable US naval contracts.

Prosecutors stated the corporate then overcharged the navy by at the very least $35m for servicing US ships, a lot of which have been routed to ports he managed within the Pacific with the help of the officers receiving his bribes.

The first to be convicted in the case was John Beliveau II, a supervisor within the NCIS, who pleaded responsible in 2012 to conspiracy and bribery expenses.

Beliveau is believed to have given Francis recommendation on learn how to thwart an NCIS investigation towards him, leaked the names of witnesses, and shared tons of of pages of confidential NCIS information with him.

In trade for info, Beliveau acquired journey, dinners and lodge prices value 1000’s of {dollars} throughout visits to Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. He additionally acquired at the very least 5 envelopes of money, and the companies of intercourse staff, the doc stated.

Beliveau was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2016 and ordered to pay $20m in restitution to the Navy.