|US Navy investigator to admit taking Malaysian's bribes and prostitutes
A senior US Navy criminal investigator downloaded more than 100 confidential files for a Malaysian defense contractor at the center of a multimillion-dollar fraud investigation, US prosecutors say.
In exchange, John Beliveau II accepted luxury trips from the Malaysian defense contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, who would arrange prostitutes for Beliveau, according to court documents, AP reports. The Malaysian operated his office in Singapore.
Beliveau's attorney said his client will plead guilty to bribery charges in federal court in San Diego. The conviction will be a first for federal prosecutors in the massive scandal that has led to arrests of three Navy officials and prompted the military branch to suspend two admirals' access to classified material.
Malaysian Francis, the 49-year-old chief executive of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, offered bribes to Navy officers in exchange for confidential information _ including ship routes, authorities say, or for following his requests to move Navy vessels to Asian ports with lax oversight so the company could inflate costs and invent tariffs by using phony port authorities.
In exchange, Francis, who is known in military circles as “Fat Leonard'' because of his wide girth, lined up prostitutes, luxury hotel stays and tickets to shows for the Navy officials, including a Lady Gaga concert in Thailand, according to a criminal complaint.
The company bilked the Navy out of US$10 million in just one year in Thailand alone, US Attorney Laura Duffy said.
Francis, who was arrested in September, and his cousin, Alex Wisidagama, a company manager who was also arrested, have pleaded not guilty. Navy Cmdr. Jose Luis Sanchez and Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz also have pleaded not guilty.
According to the complaint, Beliveau, 44, not only kept Francis abreast of the bribery inquiry but also advised him on how to respond, as well as downloaded sensitive records from the case files of his fellow Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents. Prosecutors believe Beliveau later shared the details with Francis.
The two exchanged thousands of text messages, according to charging documents.
At one point, Francis bragged to an associate in an email: “I have inside Intel from NCIS and read all the reports,'' according to court documents.
Beliveau faces a maximum sentence of 20 years.