Navy corruption scandal mastermind “Fats Leonard” captured in Venezuela

A navy 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 evening.

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

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

U.S. Marshals had believed Leonard had fled south into Mexico after slicing 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 alternate, the officers handed him categorised info and even went as far as redirecting navy vessels to ports that had been profitable for his Singapore-based ship servicing firm. Francis, in keeping with prosecutors, overcharged the U.S. navy by $35 million for his firm’s providers.

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

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

At occasions weighing in at greater than 400 kilos, Francis was colloquially generally known as “Fats Leonard.”

Francis was beneath home arrest since not less than 2018 and beneath the supervision of a federal company, Pre-Trial Companies, that screens 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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