Mastermind of Navy bribery scheme captured in Venezuela after escaping house arrest in San Diego



CNN

Leonard Francis, a former military contractor known as “Fat Leonard” who masterminded the largest corruption scandal in U.S. Navy history, was arrested Tuesday morning by authorities in Venezuela at the request of the U.S. Marshals Service, the agency said.

Francis is currently being held by authorities in Venezuela and U.S. government officials are working with Venezuela to extradite him, Supervising Deputy U.S. Marshal Omar Castillo told CNN on Wednesday.

After Francis fled earlier this month, U.S. federal law enforcement filed a so-called “red notice” with the international police agency INTERPOL, Castillo said. A Red Notice is a universal request to participating INTERPOL members to temporarily arrest a wanted suspect pending further legal action, such as extradition.

Former contractor He escaped from house arrest Two weeks ago in San Diego, he cut off his GPS tracking ankle bracelet, Castillo told CNN at the time.

He escaped three weeks before his sentencing.

Francis, nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in 2015.

The investigation into corruption began in 2013 and touched capitals and ports across the Pacific, including Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila. During the trial, several naval officers were arrested and accused of offering services such as fuel and tugboats in exchange for sending cash, prostitutes, and all-expenses-paid trips to ports where Francis’s contracting company operated.

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