Dirty NCIS Agent Gets 12 Years in Sprawling Navy Bribery Scandal

John Beliveau pleaded guilty to trading sensitive info for cash, prostitutes.

October 14, 2016, 9:08 PM
PHOTO: John Beliveau II, accompanied by then-attorney Gretchen von Helms, arrives at the federal courthouse, Dec. 17, 2013, in San Diego, California.
John Beliveau II, accompanied by then-attorney Gretchen von Helms, arrives at the federal courthouse, Dec. 17, 2013, in San Diego, California.
Lenny Ignelzi/AP Photo

— -- The ex-NCIS agent who traded sensitive information to a foreign contractor in exchange for cash, travel and prostitutes was sentenced to 12 years in prison today.

John Beliveau, a former supervisory special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Services, pleaded guilty nearly three years ago to working with Malaysian national Leonard Francis, also known as Fat Leonard, to thwart NCIS investigations into Francis' company, a private foreign contractor called Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA).

Francis, who was arrested in 2013 and pleaded guilty two years later, bilked the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars through GDMA, which provided American ships in-port services like refueling, laundry and waste disposal at ports throughout Asia. After he was caught, Francis told investigators he had roped "scores" of Navy servicemembers into his conspiracy. The servicemembers allegedly provided Francis with classified information on ship movements, steered their ships toward his ports or otherwise aided in Francis' long-running scheme.

More than a dozen Navy personnel, up to the rank of vice admiral, have already been disciplined, have been criminally prosecuted or face charges related to the conspiracy. Just Thursday, a U.S. Navy Lt. Commander, 41-year-old Gentry Debord, pleaded guilty to providing Francis with confidential ship information and advice on how to best rip off the Navy on invoice forms. He too was paid in part with cash and prostitutes, the Department of Justice says.

Beliveau came into play after Francis learned he was under investigation by the NCIS. Beliveau, who joined the NCIS in 2002, met Francis when he was stationed in Singapore from 2008 to 2012 and found Francis to be a "wealthy, smooth-talking, popular man," Beliveau's attorneys said. In the NCIS agent, Francis apparently saw someone he could use.

Ahead of today's hearing, Beliveau's attorneys had requested their client, who court papers indicate worked with investigators after he was caught, receive a year's home confinement. In a filing last week, the attorneys painted the 47-year-old as a pitiful, lonely, weak man who was preyed upon by Francis.

Prosecutors didn't buy it and asked the judge to give Beliveau 15 years for what they called a crime of "unprecedented nature and extraordinary aggravated circumstances." Beliveau got 12 years.

"John Beliveau’s deceit was a devastating blow to the U.S. Navy and ultimately the nation that he was sworn to protect," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy in a DOJ statement. "While this disgraced agent serves what may be the longest prison sentence ever handed down to a federal agent in a corruption case, his colleagues are left to rebuild the trust and credibility that he singlehandedly destroyed."

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