Video Report By Shannon Handy, Reporter - bio | email
SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - A special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service admitted Tuesday that he shared confidential information about ongoing criminal probes into a foreign Navy contractor's billing practices in exchange for prostitutes, cash and luxury travel.
John Bertrand Beliveau Jr., 44, faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for participating in the massive international fraud and bribery scheme. A guilty plea is expected to result in a more lenient sentence.
Sentencing was set for March 7, but defense attorney Gretchen von Helms said the hearing would probably be delayed.
In a hearing before Magistrate Judge Jan Adler, Beliveau pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery.
Beliveau acknowledged in his plea agreement that he regularly searched confidential NCIS databases for reports of investigations related to the contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis -- known as "Fat Leonard" -- who was the chief executive of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia.
Beliveau admitted that, over the course of years, he helped Francis dodge multiple criminal investigations by providing copies of the reports plus advice and counsel on how to respond to, stall and thwart the NCIS probes.
"Instead of doing his job, John Beliveau was leaking confidential details of investigations to the target himself," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. "This is an audacious violation of law for a decorated federal agent who valued his personal pleasure over loyalty to his colleagues, the U.S. Navy and ultimately his own country. His admissions are a troubling reminder that corruption may exist even among those entrusted with protecting our citizens and upholding our laws."
Beliveau, a Virginia resident who remains free on bond, spoke to reporters as he left the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego.
"I'm here to do the right thing," he said. "It was a catastrophic mistake in my life. I believe in redemption."
Beliveau's attorney says her client was corrupted by Francis and two Navy commanders also involved with the case.
"I am saying that my clients weaknesses were exploited by other parties," she said.
According to the plea agreement, Beliveau's criminal conduct began in January 2011 when he was stationed in Singapore, and continued for more than two years, even after he returned to the NCIS office in Quantico, Va., in April 2012.
All told, Beliveau leaked information to Francis about criminal investigations into GDMA's overbilling scheme that cost the Navy at least $7 million in fraudulent overpayments for "husbanding" services such as food, fuel and other supplies and services to the ships, according to the plea agreement.
Beliveau is one of five Navy officials and civilian contractors implicated so far in the widening corruption case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in Navy contracts.
In addition to Beliveau and Francis, U.S. Navy Cmdrs. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz and Jose Sanchez and GDMA executive Alex Wisidagama are charged in the case.