February 29, 2024
Leonard Glenn Francis arrest picture. Courtesy Interpol Venezuela

Fugitive navy contractor Leonard Glenn “Fats Leonard” Francis, who escaped from San Diego home arrest final yr after admitting he bribed Navy officers in a wide-ranging corruption scheme, is being returned to the USA from Venezuela as a part of a prisoner alternate, the White Home introduced Wednesday.

In keeping with the U.S. Marshals Service, Leonard reduce off a GPS monitor he was required to put on and disappeared from San Diego in September 2022.

Francis pleaded responsible in 2015 to bribing Navy officers with money and prostitutes in alternate for categorized info, persuading them to direct plane carriers to ports he managed in order that they could possibly be resupplied by his Singapore-based firm. He additionally admitted overcharging the U.S. navy in an quantity exceeding $35 million. Greater than two dozen different individuals additionally pleaded responsible within the corruption case.

Francis was awaiting sentencing when he disappeared. He was subsequently arrested at Simon Bolivar Worldwide Airport and had been detained in Venezuela ever since.

The prisoner-swap introduced Wednesday additionally consists of the discharge of 10 Individuals, six of whom have been thought of to have been unlawfully detained in Venezuela. A Los Angeles County public defender was amongst these launched.

“These people have misplaced far an excessive amount of valuable time with their family members, and their households have suffered day by day of their absence,” President Joe Biden mentioned in a press release. “I’m grateful that their ordeal is lastly over, and that these households are being made entire as soon as extra.”

Up to date at 12:18 p.m.

— Metropolis Information Service