SAN DIEGO — The fugitive protection contractor nicknamed “Fats Leonard” who orchestrated an enormous bribery scheme involving dozens of U.S. Navy officers, has requested asylum in Venezuela, a regulation enforcement official mentioned Monday, almost every week after he was captured within the South American nation.
Leonard Glenn Francis slipped away from home arrest in San Diego on Sept. 4, solely weeks earlier than he was to be sentenced. The official, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not permitted to talk to the press concerning the closed proceedings, didn’t present any extra particulars concerning the Malaysian businessman’s strikes. By regulation the Venezuelan authorities should think about the asylum request.
Francis owned Singapore-based Glenn Protection Marine Asia Ltd. or GDMA, that equipped meals, water and gas to vessels for many years. He has acknowledged overbilling the U.S. Navy by $35 million with the assistance of dozens of U.S. naval officers whom he plied with prostitutes, Kobe beef, cigars and different bribes so they might direct their ships to ports Francis managed within the Pacific in Southeast Asia.
Francis, identified for his broad girth and large character, pleaded responsible in 2015 and confronted as much as 25 years in jail. Whereas awaiting sentencing, he was given house confinement in San Diego to obtain medical care as he cooperated with the prosecution, which led to the convictions of 33 of 34 defendants.
U.S. and Venezuelan officers mentioned that Francis minimize off his ankle monitor, fled to Mexico after which made his technique to Cuba earlier than turning up in Venezuela. He was arrested there Tuesday earlier than he boarded a flight on the Simon Bolivar Worldwide Airport exterior Caracas. Venezuelan officers have mentioned he meant to succeed in Russia.
Venezuela and the US have an extradition settlement, although the Biden administration doesn’t formally acknowledge President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist authorities, has no embassy in Venezuela and has imposed crushing sanctions on the nation which have additional embittered relations.
U.S. authorities have 30 days to formally request his extradition. In an e mail, a Justice Division spokesperson has mentioned that the company doesn’t touch upon extradition-related issues.
The U.S. lawyer’s workplace declined to remark when requested about Francis’ request for asylum in Venezuela.