Leonard Glenn Francis, nicknamed "Fat Leonard," escaped house arrest in San Diego on Sept. 4, weeks before he was scheduled to be sentenced. He requested asylum in Venezuela almost a week after he was arrested in the South American country.

Fat Leonard orchestrated an enormous bribery scheme that involved dozens of U.S. Navy officials. Francis, a Malaysian businessman owns the Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. (GDMA) that supplied food, water, and fuel to vessels for decades.

He admitted overbilling the U.S. Navy by $35 million with the help of several U.S. naval officers whom he gifted with prostitutes, Kobe beef, cigars, and other bribes. In return, they would direct their ships to ports Francis controlled in the Pacific in Southeast Asia, AP News reported.

Francis who is known for his personality pleaded guilty in 2015 and faced up to 25 years in prison. He was given home confinement in San Diego while waiting for his sentence. He receives medical care as he cooperates with the prosecution which resulted in 33 of 34 defendants being convicted, according to the NBC News.

Francis removed his GPS ankle monitor and fled home. Interpol received a red-notice request from the U.S. seeking his capture, resulting in his arrest in Caracas last week, the Al Jazeera reported.

Francis arrived in Venezuela via Mexico and Cuba. The authorities arrested Francis on Tuesday before he boarded a flight at the Simon Bolivar International Airport outside Caracas. Venezuelan officials said he was to go to Russia.

Agencia Venezuela News reported through Ultimas Noticias that Francis requested the court proceedings for him to be held in Venezuela and be reunited with his wife and family. Neither Venezuela’s Information Ministry nor its Attorney General’s Office promptly responded to a request for comment.

By law, the Venezuelan government must consider the harbor request. Moreover, the Venezuelan and the United States' government have an extradition agreement though the Biden administration doesn’t officially recognize President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government and has no embassy in Venezuela. Washington does not have an embassy in Venezuela and has imposed crushing sanctions on Caracas, which embittered relations between the two countries.

The United States government has 30 days to formally request Francis' extradition. Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney’s office refused to comment when asked about Francis’ request for asylum in Venezuela.

Malaysian fugitive Francis Leonard Glenn, known as Fat Leonard
This undated handout picture released on September 21, 2022 by the Instagram account of Interpol Venezuela shows Malaysian fugitive Francis Leonard Glenn, known as Fat Leonard, after his capture in Maiquetia, Venezuela. - A military contractor who pleaded guilty to the worst corruption scandal in the history of the US Navy has been captured in Venezuela after fleeing the United States, the Interpol office in Caracas reported. Francis Leonard Glenn, known as "Fat Leonard," hacked his GPS monitor and escaped from house arrest in California in early September. "The fugitive was arrested at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetia when he was about to leave the country," the Interpol office in Caracas said in a post on Instagram. Photo by Interpol Venezuela Instagram account/AFP via Getty Images

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