Navy corruption scandal mastermind “Fats Leonard” captured in Venezuela

A army contractor who served because the architect behind the “Fats Leonard” Navy scandal has been captured in Venezuela after he went on the lam earlier this month, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed to CBS Information Wednesday night time.

Leonard Francis, who goes by the nickname “Fats Leonard,” was detained on an Interpol pink discover at Simon Bolivar Worldwide Airport in Caracas whereas boarding a flight to Cuba, the U.S. Marshals Service advised CBS Information.

Leonard had been below home arrest in San Diego, and was days away from being sentenced, when he reduce off his ankle bracelet in early September and fled.

U.S. Marshals had believed Leonard had fled south into Mexico after reducing off his monitoring bracelet.

Francis was first arrested in San Diego in 2013 and pleaded responsible in 2015 to providing $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers. In change, the officers handed him categorized info and even went as far as redirecting army vessels to ports that had been profitable for his Singapore-based ship servicing firm. Francis, in accordance with prosecutors, overcharged the U.S. army by $35 million for his firm’s companies.

In accordance to his 2015 plea settlement, Francis recognized seven Navy officers who had accepted bribes and acknowledged paying off officers with a whole lot of hundreds in money, in addition to luxurious items price tens of millions. He equipped them with prostitutes and Cuban cigars, luxurious journey, Spanish suckling pigs and Kobe beef. Officers obtained spa therapies, top-shelf alcohol, designer purses, leather-based items, designer furnishings, watches, fountain pens, decorative swords and handmade ship fashions, in accordance with court docket paperwork.

Over 30 Navy officers and contractors have both been convicted or pleaded responsible to expenses associated to Francis’ companies.

At occasions weighing in at greater than 400 kilos, Francis was colloquially often called “Fats Leonard.”

Francis was below home arrest since no less than 2018 and below the supervision of a federal company, Pre-Trial Companies, that displays defendants who’re out of custody till sentencing. Previous to his disappearance, he had been scheduled to be sentenced on the finish of September, and confronted as much as 25 years behind bars.   

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