SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy official accused of leaking confidential information to a Singapore-based company at the center of a military contracting scandal is expected to plead guilty in a California court on Tuesday, media reported.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent John Beliveau pleaded not guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
Beliveau’s attorney, Jan Ronis, told reporters last week he was to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in San Diego on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times and other media.
With a guilty plea, Beliveau would become the first to be convicted among four people charged in the bribery scandal centered on U.S. Navy contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in maintenance and restocking for ships in the Pacific Fleet.
A court calendar and documents indicate a change-of-plea hearing was requested by prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors and Beliveau’s attorney declined to comment on Monday.
It was not known if Beliveau would plead guilty only to conspiracy or different charges, or if he had reached a deal with prosecutors.
Beliveau, who was arrested in September, is accused of accepting money, travel and hotel costs for several trips to Thailand and Indonesia, where he had the company of prostitutes provided by Glenn Defense Marine Asia, according to charging documents.
In return, Beliveau accessed confidential NCIS files dozens of times over two years and provided Glenn Defense Marine Asia’s owner with inside information on Navy fraud investigations into the company, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigation has resulted in conspiracy charges against Leonard Glenn Francis, a Malaysian citizen and owner of Singapore-based Glenn Defense Marine Asia. Francis, 49, has pleaded not guilty and is in federal custody in San Diego.
Also charged were Navy Commanders Jose Luis Sanchez and Michael Misiewicz.
The most senior officers affected by the probe so far are Vice Admiral Ted Branch, the director of Naval Intelligence, and Rear Admiral Bruce Loveless, the director of Intelligence Operations.
Their access to classified information was suspended last month and they were put on temporary leave due to allegations of “inappropriate conduct,” though no charges have been filed against them.
Writing by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Mohammad Zargham