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Fugitive known as ‘Fat Leonard' arrested in Venezuela weeks after cutting off GPS ankle bracelet

Added 09-22-22 08:13:02am EST - “A defense contractor at the heart of one the largest corruption scandals in U.S. Navy history was recaptured in Venezuela, two weeks after he cut off his ankle monitor and escaped house arrest in San Diego.” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Fugitive known as ‘Fat Leonard’ arrested in Venezuela weeks after cutting off GPS ankle bracelet”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A defense contractor at the heart of one the largest corruption scandals in U.S. Navy history was recaptured in Venezuela, two weeks after he cut off his ankle monitor and escaped house arrest in San Diego.

Leonard Francis, also known as “Fat Leonard” due to his 400 lb. weight at the time, pleaded guilty in 2015 to offering $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers, who in return shared classified information with him and redirected military vessels to ports that would serve the interests of his Singapore-based ship servicing business, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd.

Prosecutors said the company overcharged the Navy by at least $35 million for servicing ships, many of which were routed to the ports he operated in the Pacific.

Francis remained under house arrest until September 4, when he cut off his GPS tracker just weeks ahead of his sentencing. His disappearance sparked an international manhunt that culminated in his arrest on Tuesday. He was taken into custody at the Caracas airport as he was about to board an airplane for another country, the U.S. Marshals Service said Wednesday. Authorities believe he was heading for Russia.

U.S. federal law enforcement had previously issued a “Red Notice” with the multinational policing organization INTERPOL following Francis’ escape earlier this month. The alert is a call on law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

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