Business information

$40,000 offered for information on search for fugitive in Navy corruption case

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. government on Friday issued a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” who disappeared weeks before he was be convicted for one of the greatest corruption scandals in the nation’s military history.

Leonard Glenn Francis cut his ankle monitoring bracelet around 7:35 a.m. Sunday at a San Diego home where he was being held, according to the US Marshals Service. Neighbors reported seeing U-Haul trucks driving in and out of the house days before he went missing.

Francis had been allowed to remain housebound to receive medical treatment while he cooperated with the prosecution. With his help, prosecutors secured convictions for 33 of the 34 defendants, including more than two dozen naval officers.

Francis pleaded guilty in 2015 to offering prostitution services, luxury hotels, cigars, gourmet meals and more than $500,000 in bribes to Navy officials and others for help his Singapore-based ship maintenance company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. or GDMA. Prosecutors said the company overcharged the Navy by at least $35 million for maintaining ships, many of which were routed to ports it controlled in the Pacific.

Ten US agencies are looking for Francis. US authorities have also issued a red notice, which asks law enforcement agencies around the world to provisionally arrest a person with the possibility of extradition. Malaysia and Sinapur both have extradition agreements with the United States.