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'Fat Leonard' in connection with Navy bribery scheme escapes San Diego house arrest

Fat Leonard
Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 20:16:32-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis currently at the center of the biggest bribery scandal in U.S. Navy history has escaped San Diego, according to the U.S. Marshal.

The San Diego police department alerted U.S. Marshals after a welfare check where the former defense contractor was under house arrest.

"Francis cut off his GPS monitoring ankle bracelet Sunday morning," said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Omar Castillo in a statement to ABC 10News.

Francis pleaded guilty in January 2015 and has been under house arrest in San Diego while awaiting sentencing.

According to prosecutors, Francis provided expensive meals, fancy hotel accommodations, prostitutes and other gifts to Navy members in exchange for information regarding ship schedules and influence over ship movements.

More than two dozen other people have also pleaded guilty or were convicted in the case.

Supervisory Deputy Castillo said neighbors witnessed U-Haul moving trucks outside Francis' home in the days before his escape.

After several health issues, Francis has been on house arrest since 2018 and under the supervision of a federal agency. He was set to be sentenced on September 22.

U.S. Marshals say it's possible Francis already escaped into Mexico.

This is a developing story please check back for updates.