Navy Planted False Info to Nab NCIS Mole, Alleged Bribery Kingpin

PHOTO: John Beliveau II, center, and his attorneys, Gretchen von Helms, left, and Jessica Carmichael arrive at the federal courthouse, Dec. 17, 2013, in San Diego, Calif.

When military authorities learned there was a mole inside the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) who was selling confidential information to a foreign contractor in exchange for luxury travel and prostitutes, investigators turned the tables and used the conspirator to lure in an even bigger fish, prosecutors said.

NCIS Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau II pleaded guilty Tuesday for his role in what officials have called a “massive” and ever-growing bribery scandal rocking the Navy. Beliveau admitted to working inside the NCIS for years to thwart his own service’s investigations into Singapore-based defense contractor Glenn Defense Marines (Asia) (GDMA) and its head, Leonard Francis, a Malaysian national known as “Fat Leonard” in Navy circles. GDMA provided husbandry services for Navy ships in Asian ports, arranging tugboats, fresh water and fuel for the ships, among other services, to the tune of millions of dollars a visit.

Court documents show the NCIS had opened several investigations into GDMA after repeated accusations of corruption and bribery, but investigators did not know that Beliveau was sabotaging them from the inside by accessing the NCIS’ internal, confidential network to pull files on the various investigations, which he then turned over to Francis. Beliveau also coached Francis and GDMA employees on how to answer or evade investigators’ questions. In return, Francis provided Beliveau with lavish vacations, envelopes full of cash, thousand-dollar nightclub parties and prostitutes, according to Beliveau’s plea agreement.

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Much of the government's case against Beliveau stemmed from colorful emails he exchanged with Francis, including one in which court documents say Beliveau wrote, "You give your whores more money than me ;)."

But another investigation into GDMA, this one launched by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) working with the NCIS, uncovered Beliveau’s misdeeds. Rather than lock him up immediately, however, authorities decided to use Francis’ inside man against him.

“[W]hen authorities learned of Beliveau’s duplicity, they began planting bogus reports in the [NCIS] system, including one that falsely indicated the investigations of Francis were going to be closed,” knowing that the information would find its way to Francis, the Department of Justice said in a statement following Beliveau’s guilty plea. “Soon after that, an emboldened Francis came to San Diego from Singapore for a meeting with Navy brass, and Francis was arrested. Beliveau was taken into custody the same day in Virginia.”

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