He wined, dined and bribed navy officers

Leonard Glenn Francis, nicknamed "Fat Leonard", 58, was born in Penang.

The US Marshals Service said on its wanted poster that he weighed 158kg and is nearly 1.9m tall.

He began corrupting US Navy officers after meeting them at an Independence Day celebration held by the US Embassy in Malaysia.

Prosecutors say he feted naval officers with expensive meals, luxury hotel rooms and entertainment by prostitutes, and offered bribes for classified information.

Additionally, US naval ships berthing at ports were serviced by his Singapore-based company.

He pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery, and agreed to forfeit US$35 million (S$50 million) in ill-gotten gains.

According to the plea agreement, Francis paid about US$500,000 in bribes to navy officials.

He was placed in home detention in San Diego, California, and earlier in September was about to be sentenced to what could be 25 years in jail when he cut his ankle bracelet and fled to Venezuela.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 23, 2022, with the headline He wined, dined and bribed navy officers. Subscribe