Leonard Francis Fleeing U.S. Custody "Child's Play": Feds

Leonard Francis was initially granted $1.1 million bond as he awaits trial on three cases alleging bribes of travel and prostitution in exchange for classified information.

By Paul Krueger and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Nov 25, 2013  |  Updated 3:43 PM PDT
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3 Charged in Navy Bribery Scheme

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3 Charged in Navy Bribery Scheme

Leonard Francis appeared in San Diego Federal Court on charges that he bribed a Navy Commander to secure multi-million dollar contracts for his Singapore-based company. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports.
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A San Diego judge denied bail for the Malaysian businessman who faces life in prison if convicted of bribing high-ranking Navy officials.

On Thursday, a federal judge initially granted Leonard Francis a $1.1 million bond as he awaits trial on three cases alleging bribes of travel and prostitution in exchange for classified information.

The man known in the U.S. Navy as "Fat Leonard" would be required to live on the top floor of a multi-story apartment or condo building monitored by closed-circuit security cameras. Francis must be monitored around the clock by a GPS tracking system.

The judge is also requiring Francis hire and pay for an independent, 24 hour guard service.
Federal prosecutors say Francis is a foreign national with no ties to Southern California and has the financial means to jump bond and flee.

Read: Francis Granted Release

Court documents show prosecutors believe Francis could easily make the 16 mile trip to the U.S.-Mexico border and flee to another country.

“For Defendant, who was able to corrupt high-ranking Navy officials into violating their sworn duties, finding a way to buy 15 minutes would be child’s play,” prosecutors argued.

At a hearing Monday afternoon Judge Janis Sammartino overturned the magistrate's order and ordered Fat Leonard to remain in federal jail at least until his trial.

Read Court Docs: Prosecutors Appeal Bail Decision

Court documents show through text messaging contacts within the U.S. Navy, Francis successfully redirected nuclear-powered destroyers and aircraft carriers along with their support ships to ports his company controlled.

Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, would profit millions from inflated prices for fuel, food and other services it provided, the prosecution alleges.
 

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