US Marshals say “Fat Leonard” has vanished after removing his ankle monitor

Leonard Glenn Francis ("Fat Leonard") poses for a photo with then-Adm. Gary Roughead, at the time chief of naval operations, during a July 3, 2008, breakfast meeting in Singapore sponsored by the Navy League of the United States Singapore Council and the American Chamber of Commerce Singapore. (Navy League of the United States Singapore Council)

Kate Feldman

New York Daily News

The defense contractor who orchestrated one of the biggest corruption scandals in military history has cut off his ankle bracelet and gone on the lam just three weeks before he was due for sentencing.

Leonard Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to offering $500,000 in bribes to Navy officers, who then passed him classified information and even redirected military vessels to ports where his Singapore-based ship servicing company would profit.

In total, Francis overcharged the military more than $35 million, according to prosecutors.

Francis, who has been under house arrest since 2018, faces up to 25 years and was due for sentencing at the end of the month.

But on Sunday, he cut off his ankle monitor and fled, the U.S. Marshals Service announced late Monday night. By the time task force officers got to his San Diego house, he was gone.

Neighbors told CBS 8 that they had seen U-Haul trucks going in and out of his house and officials believe he had been planning to run.

Francis’ lawyer declined to comment when reached by the Daily News Tuesday.

All law enforcement agencies have been notified to be on the lookout for Francis, but officials conceded that he could have already fled the country.

Four Navy officers were convicted in the scandal earlier this year and dozens of other people involved have pleaded guilty.

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