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Maduro Extracts His Pound of Fat Leonard Flesh

Maduro Extracts His Pound of Fat Leonard Flesh
Photo illustration by Ryan Ho
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High-level political brokers are looking to trade Leonard Glenn Francis, a.k.a. Fat Leonard, for a notorious figure in U.S. custody.

Back in September, Leonard Francis, the corrupt U.S. military contractor known as "Fat Leonard," went on the run from justice. Leonard's escape from home detention in San Diego came only days ahead of his sentencing in a shocking, decades-long Navy scandal involving cash bribes, orgies and top-secret documents.

The whole sordid story, including the under-appreciated national security failure, is told in our new book, "Fat Leonard: The Man Who Corrupted the U.S. Navy," also available as an audiobook and podcast.

Leonard cut off his monitoring bracelet, avoided armed guards on his home, and jumped the border to Mexico. Only 16 days later, he was apprehended in Venezuela while trying to board a flight to Russia.

We reported exclusively in Whale Hunting that Leonard had fled to Venezuela, even before the police arrested him.

Now, Whale Hunting brings you another exclusive. And it explains why, four months after his detention in Venezuela, we've heard nothing about Leonard's extradition to face sentencing in the U.S.

Before it gives up Leonard, the Maduro government wants to extract its pound of flesh from the U.S. It's got a very specific request in mind...and it's going to be controversial.

Enter a connected London-based lobbyist who is working to make it happen.

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