Fraud in the News

Finding ‘Fat Leonard’ and more

Finding ‘Fat Leonard’

In September, authorities apprehended Leonard Francis, aka “Fat Leonard,” the notorious defense contractor convicted in 2015 of bribing high-ranking U.S. Naval officers, just two weeks after he had escaped house arrest in San Diego, California. 

Francis had made his getaway by cutting off his ankle monitor before officials arrived to find an empty house and no guard. Law enforcement later nabbed Francis in Venezuela as he boarded a flight to Russia. 

Francis, who was being treated for renal cancer, agreed to pay for 24-hour security and wear an ankle bracelet under house arrest while helping prosecutors convict others involved in the corruption case that cost the Navy $35 million. (See “Fat Leonard: Malaysian criminal in US Navy scandal recaptured after jail break,” by Frances Mao, BBC News, Sept. 22, 2022.)

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