(MENAFN) The US Marshals Service stated on Wednesday that Leonard Glenn Francis, better known as 'Fat Leonard,' the mastermind behind one of the greatest US Navy corruption scandals in history, had been captured by Venezuelan authorities.
According to Interpol Venezuela, Francis was apprehended at the Caracas airport on Tuesday while attempting to catch a trip to Russia. The Malaysian billionaire has been on the run from US authorities since September 4, when he fled house detention by severing his GPS ankle band and fleeing his residence in San Diego, California.
He was scheduled to appear in court on September 22 to face sentence for bribing dozens of US Navy officers over several decades.
Fat Leonard was caught in 2013 and pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribing high-ranking Navy officials with prostitution services, luxurious hotels, cigars, gourmet dinners, and over $500,000 in bribes.
In exchange, the Navy command agreed to dock its ships in Francis' ports throughout Asia, including Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, and Manila. His company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, charged the Navy exorbitant prices for fuel, food, and security. Prosecutors claim the businessman overcharged the Navy by at least $35 million for ship maintenance.
Following his arrest, Francis worked closely with authorities probing the corruption scheme, providing the names of all Navy personnel he had dealt with over the years.
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