A military contractor known as “Fat Leonard,” the mastermind behind the worst public corruption scandal in U.S. Navy history, has disappeared just three weeks away from his sentencing, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. Leonard Glenn Francis, who had been placed under house arrest, severed his GPS monitoring ankle band and fled his San Diego residence sometime early on Sunday, according to Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Omar Castillo.
In ports he controlled throughout Southeast Asia, Francis’ company provided maintenance services for visiting Navy ships. For years, he bought access to military intelligence and the influence of U.S. Navy officials in order to gain contracts worth millions of dollars. After his arrest, he pleaded guilty, confessing to both bribery conspiracy and the theft of at least $35 million in overcharges from the Navy. Since then, Francis has assisted federal prosecutors in constructing cases against a number of other people involved in the scheme.