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Central Figure in Navy Bribery Scandal Flees House Arrest, U.S. Marshals Say

Leonard Glenn Francis via U.S. Marshals

By Steve Neavling

Less than three weeks before his sentencing date, the central figure in one of the biggest scandals in U.S. naval history cut off his ankle monitor while under house arrest and fled, the U.S. Marshals Service said Tuesday. 

Leonard Glenn Francis, who is known as Fat Leonard, cut off his GPS anklet on Sunday morning and fled his home in San Diego. 

“Members of the San Diego Fugitive Task Force went to Francis’ residence, in an attempt to locate him,” the U.S. Marshals said in a news release. “After announcing themselves, task force officers made entry into the residence through an unlocked door. After a thorough check of the residence, officers were unable to locate Francis. Officers were able to locate the GPS ankle monitor that had been cut off.”

Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 22 after Francis was found guilty in 2015 of bribing officers with gifts and millions of dollars in cash in exchange for information about the movement of naval ships. 

More than 30 naval officers have been charged in connection with the case. 

“In his plea agreement, Francis conceded that over the course of the conspiracy, he and [his contracting company] gave public officials millions of dollars in things of value, including over $500,000 in cash; hundreds of thousands of dollars in the services of prostitutes and associated expenses; hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, including airfare, often first or business class, luxurious hotel stays, incidentals and spa treatments; hundreds of thousands of dollars in lavish meals, top-shelf alcohol and wine and entertainment; and hundreds of thousands of dollars in luxury gifts, including designer handbags and leather goods, watches, fountain pens, fine wine, champagne, Scotch, designer furniture, consumer electronics, ornamental swords and hand-made ship models,” the Justice Department said in a news release.


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