Who knew that “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis had an encore planned?
Who could have foreseen that in 2022 he would manage to top the audaciousness of one of the biggest scandals in U.S. Navy history, one in which he plied scores of Navy officers with cash, hotels and sex workers in exchange for an inside line on lucrative port services contracts for his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd.?
But last September, Francis performed just such an encore, when he somehow slipped out of the luxe house where he was living in San Diego — under the watch of law enforcement — while awaiting sentencing for the charges to which he pleaded guilty back in 2015.
He made his way down to Mexico and then to Venezuela, and there he remains.
It remains unclear if Venezuela will accede to a U.S. request to extradite Francis, or if the sour relations between the two countries will lead Francis to score asylum there.
There’s also the matter of precisely how Francis managed to escape from under the nose of U.S. law enforcement back in September.
Congress is asking questions, as are the press. But as The San Diego Union-Tribune reported earlier in December, authorities have yet to explain precisely how this all happened.
Expect more answers and clarity on this latest act in the Fat Leonard saga sometime in 2023.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.