The Malaysian businessman who spent a decade bribing scores of U.S. Navy personnel with booze and prostitutes is too sick to be in a federal lockup and now has trouble walking.
A story in Sunday’s San Diego Union-Tribune by reporter Greg Moran said Leonard Glenn Francis is suffering from renal cancer and “for months has been under the care and treatment of unidentified physicians in San Diego.”
Moran reported the story from transcripts and records in San Diego federal court, and interviews with some of those involved in the case.
Francis, now 54, was arrested in San Diego in 2013 and charged with bribery and fraud.
He pleaded guilty in 2015 to directing a decade-long conspiracy involving scores of U.S. Navy officials, tens of millions of dollars in fraud, and millions of dollars in bribes.
His Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, provided port services to U.S. Navy ships across Asia.
As part of his plea deal, Francis agreed to forfeit $35 million and cooperate with investigators.
He “testified for the first time — in a deposition taken for a court martial case for Cmdr. David Morales, an active duty fighter pilot charged with conspiracy and bribery,” the San Diego Union-Tribune said. The deposition transcript was unsealed on September 1.
Renal cancer attacks the kidneys. “He’s a man who can barely walk at this point,” Francis’ lawyer told a federal judge.
Francis hasn’t been sentenced yet and is still in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. But his illness is “beyond the capability” of the Marshals Service to handle, the San Diego Union-Tribune said.
Instead he’s “on a medical furlough requested by attorneys and approved by the federal judge overseeing his case late last year.”
Francis is living “in a small, studio-like apartment above a garage at the home of one of his physicians,” the report said.
“He is under guard 24 hours a day by private security guards, which his family is paying for.”
Family members can visit for up to three or four hours at a time and he’s allowed to go to church once a week, according to the deposition and other court records.
Francis bribed senior Navy officers and others with luxury hotel stays, expensive meals, cash, gifts, and the services of prostitutes.
In return they gave him secret Navy information about ship movements and helped him manipulate port calls where his company did business. The Navy personnel also protected Francis when he intentionally overcharged for food, fuel, and cleaning services.
So far the DOJ has charged 32 defendants in the massive scandal. Twenty one have pleaded guilty.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.