Fugitive Leonard Francis Back in San Diego; Appears in Federal Court
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 4, 2024
SAN DIEGO – Leonard Glenn Francis, the infamous fugitive who presided over a massive decade-long conspiracy involving scores of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud and millions of dollars in bribes and gifts, appeared in federal court today for the first time since he cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and absconded from house arrest in San Diego in September 2022.
At the hearing, the government asked U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino to set a new sentencing date immediately to avoid delays, but the judge postponed a decision based on a request by Francis’ legal team to withdraw from the case in the aftermath of his disappearance. The judge set a status hearing for February 8, 2024, at 9 a.m.
Francis, who fled the United States before he could be sentenced, was returned to the United States from Venezuela as part of a prisoner swap on December 20, 2023. From Venezuela, he arrived in the Southern District of Florida and appeared in federal court the next day in Miami, where he was ordered removed to the Southern District of California. Francis arrived in San Diego on January 3.
Francis, the owner and chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Asia, which provided services to U.S. Navy ships in ports in the Asia-Pacific region, pleaded guilty to bribery and fraud charges in 2015. As a result of the federal investigation, more than 30 U.S. Navy officials and associates pleaded guilty.
“Leonard Francis is no longer on the run. He is on the hook,” said U.S. Attorney Tara K. McGrath. “Mr. Francis never should have fled the United States while he was waiting to be sentenced. In fact, he was ordered by a federal judge not to do so. Now that he is back in San Diego, Mr. Francis will be held fully accountable for his crimes.”
DEFENDANTS Case Number 13-CR- 4287
Leonard Glenn Francis Age: 59 Singapore
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Commit Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. Maximum penalty five years in prison, $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater;
Bribery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 201. Maximum 15 years in prison, $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Mandatory restitution.
Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, in violation of in violation of 18 U.S.C. sec. 371. Maximum penalty five years in prison $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Mandatory restitution.
Defense Criminal Investigative Service
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Defense Contract Audit Agency
Media Relations Director Kelly Thornton (619) 546-9726 or Kelly.Thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated January 4, 2024
Press Release Number: CAS24-0104-Francis