Fat Leonard, On The Run
Leonard and his Gurkhas aboard his warship, The Braveheart, courtesy of Leonard Francis. 

Fat Leonard, On The Run

Tom Wright

In a movie-like turn of events, Leonard Francis, the corrupt Malaysian contractor who ran a mafia-like network inside the U.S. Navy, has gone on the lam.

He hacked off his GPS ankle bracelet and fled into the night from his multi-million-dollar home in a gated community in San Diego, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Leonard was under home detention, awaiting sentencing on Sept. 22 in a San Diego federal court for his role in a decades-long scam in which he bribed U.S. Navy officers with Cohiba cigars, Cristal, and orgies in return for lucrative supply contracts. (See my piece, here, for a quick overview.)

For our loyal followers,  his rash decision to cut and run is perhaps no surprise. Last year, for our nine-part hit podcast "Fat Leonard," I smuggled a microphone to Leonard in home detention. We talked for over 20 hours, despite the fact he'd pleaded guilty and was yet to be sentenced.

Leonard talked at length about admirals he'd bribed and what he saw as a coverup in the Navy. He was the fall guy. Everyone knew what was going on.

It was a huge risk to talk. Before the podcast came out, Leonard told me he was concerned his candid comments could lead to a longer jail term.

Now, rather than await sentencing, just days away, he's gone on the run. Why would he do this? And is he alone?

This post is for subscribers only. Join now for free!

Already have an account? Log in