Born with a silver spoon and a troubled childhood

PETALING JAYA - Leonard Glenn Francis was born into a wealthy family but had a troubled childhood.

He went to a private school in Penang but it was an unhappy family "with a philandering father and a mother who had left the family home with his brother and sister", according to court documents.

Francis was left with the task of keeping an eye on his father to ensure that he "did not bring other women home".

When Francis was charged in court with possession of firearms, the mother had testified in court that she took part of the blame as she had used him for her selfish interests.

According to the plea in mitigation, the family was a wealthy one and Francis was very well provided for materially.

He attended an expensive private school, but after he left school, he opened a pub frequented by undesirable characters.

He also ended up in debt.

However, he has come a long way from his troubled days when the two .38 Special Smith & Wesson revolvers were found in his Halaman Free School home in Penang.

Recently, he is said to have teamed up with US Naval Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz, 46, and moved navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where he could inflate costs.

His firm overcharged the US Navy millions for fuel, food and other services it provided, and invented tariffs by using phony port authorities, the prosecution claims in charges filed against him yesterday.

What is known is that he is a very wealthy man with mansions around the world. In Malaysia, he lived in a three-storey bungalow complete with swimming pool along the affluent Jalan Gasing.

In Singapore, he has a huge mansion which has hit the newspapers for its extravagant Christmas decorations, which had stopped traffic in the republic.