Navy investigator John Beliveau pleads guilty in multi-million dollar bribery investigation

 

A senior US Navy criminal investigator has pleaded guilty to bribery stemming from a multi-million dollar fraud probe targeting an Asian defence contractor.

John Beliveau II entered his guilty plea in federal court Tuesday in San Diego after being arrested in September and charged over bribery. A sentencing hearing will be held on 7 March.

Beliveau admitted supplying Malaysian contractor Leonard Francis with information of the extensive fraud investigation NCIS agents were conducting on his company, Glenn Defence Marine Asia (GDMA) in exchange for plane tickets, hotels and prostitutes for Beliveau from Francis.

Francis has pleaded not guilty in the case that claims GDMA overbilled the navy by up to $20m (£12.3m) for port services. GDMA has provided fuel, food and supplies for navy ships for 25 years.

According to the plea, Beliveau provided Francis with detailed advice on how to counter the investigation, sharing the names of witnesses with him and downloading hundreds of pages of confidential NCIS files.

Beliveau, 44, who faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, said after the hearing: "I'm here to do the right thing, and that's what I did today."

His lawyer, Gretchen von Helms, declined to say whether her client would now assist the investigation, but said he was prepared to "prove he is honourable".

"This was a mistake generated by Mr Francis, who knows of a man's weakness and exploited that," she added.

Two navy captains have also been charged. Prosecutors say they provided Francis with confidential ship route information or directed the movement of navy vessels to Asian ports with lax oversight so the company could inflate costs and invent tariffs by using fake port authorities.

In exchange for the assistance from the navy staff, Francis, known in military circles as "Fat Leonard", lined up prostitutes, hotel stays and tickets to shows, including a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand, according to a criminal complaint.

His cousin, Alex Wisidagama, a company manager who was also arrested, has also pleaded not guilty in the case. Navy commander Jose Luis Sanchez and Cmdr Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz have entered not guilty pleas.

Two admirals have lost security clearance and two other navy officials have been relieved. None have been charged with a criminal offence.

Francis and Beliveau exchanged thousands of text messages, and at one point, the contractor told an associate in an email: "I have inside Intel from NCIS and read all the reports," according to court documents.

"This is an audacious violation of law for a decorated federal agent who valued personal pleasure over loyalty to his colleagues, the US Navy and ultimately his own country," said US Attorney Laura Duffy.

When authorities became aware that Beliveau was leaking information, they planted bogus reports in NCIS files, including one indicating that they were dropping the case against Francis, according to the prosecution.

Shortly after that, Francis flew to San Diego, believing he was meeting navy officials for business and was arrested, according to court records. Beliveau, who worked for NCIS for 11 years, was taken into custody that same day in Virginia.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Sport
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
football'Mr Marmite' faced the possibility of a 28-day ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
voices
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
News
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower