Feds: Military bribery cases show exchange of information for luxury perks, concert tickets

ABC News

In two stunning bribery cases, a high-ranking Navy officer and an NCIS special agent were arrested separately this week for allegedly trading confidential information to a foreign defense contractor in exchange for luxury travel, prostitutes and, in one case, tickets to a Lady Gaga concert, among other things.

According to court documents, both cases stemmed from the military's investigation into allegations of fraud and bribery by a Malaysian citizen, Leonard Francis, and his company, a Singapore-based defense contractor called Glenn Defense Marine (Asia) (GDMA). GDMA does millions of dollars of "husbandry" business with the U.S. Navy, providing port-based services like tugboats, fuel and other provisions in foreign ports.

As the investigation progressed, it would go on to net two of the U.S. military's own, including an agent for another military service investigating the same company, through colorful and allegedly damning emails.

'Big Bro,' The Contractor

Before his current posting at U.S. Northern Command in Peterson Air Force Base, Commander and Captain-Select Michael Misiewicz was the commanding officer of the Destoyer-class USS Mustin. In that role, he had "final decision-making authority with regard to husbanding service requirements" for that ship and later, as the Deputy Operations Officer for the U.S. Commander of the Seventh Fleet, "wielded influence in determining or modifying the schedule of port visits for U.S. Navy vessels," court documents say.

Emails quoted in the court documents appear to show Misiewicz engaging in discussions with Francis about attempts to use his position to change ship schedules and destinations, ostensibly to push business towards GDMA and sometimes with apparent success. Prosecutors also accuse Misiewicz of handing over confidential ship movement plans to Francis that gave GDMA a competitive advantage.

In addition, prosecutors said that once in port, GDMA repeatedly overbilled the Navy. In one instance, GDMA asked for $2.7 million for a port visit by the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis when other port visits by aircraft carriers in the same country cost approximately $1.36 million.

Much of the prosecutors' case is built on a winding email trail allegedly left by Misiewicz that shows he became so close with Francis in the course of their dealings that Misiewicz began to refer to Francis as "Big Brother" and Francis, in turn, referred to Misiewicz as "Little Brother." In the course of their relationship, Francis allegedly arranged travel and luxury hotel stays for Misiewicz on multiple occasions.

In Singapore in 2012, court documents say Misiewicz exchanged emails with Francis about attending an upcoming Lady Gaga concert in Thailand. Francis was apparently able to obtain five tickets for Misiewicz and others.

The court documents also detail an email exchange Francis had with "a woman associated with a prostitution service" that included "many pictures of young women along with their age, height, and bra size." The investigating officer said in the court documents he believed Francis was picking out prostitutes for several people, including Misiewicz, for an upcoming trip to Singapore. Due to weather, however, the trip was canceled, the complaint said.

'Your Kinda Babe?'

In the case of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent, Supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau II was charged in a separate bribery scheme also involving Francis, in which Beliveau allegedly gave Francis confidential information about an NCIS investigation into GDMA -- including reports taken from the NCIS database -- and advised him on how to respond to NCIS inquiries. Beliveau provided those services, prosecutors say, for "among other things, paid travel, luxury hotel stays and prostitution services."

Beginning in 2010, NCIS had opened an investigation into GDMA potentially overbilling the Navy for husbandry services. Again, emails obtained by investigators appear to be the basis for the case.

In 2011, court documents allege Beliveau took a trip to Bangkok arranged and paid for by Francis.

"In addition, as an extra perquisite of this trip, Francis arranged a female escort to entertain Beliveau," the complaint says. "According to one email, attaching a picture of this escort, Francis asked: 'Joyce your kinda Babe'? Beliveau replied, 'Nice. You bet. Hopefully I'm her kinda guy, hehe.'"

Prosecutors go on to accuse Beliveau of accessing the NCIS database to gather information on the agency's investigation into GDMA and later advising Francis based on that information.

In a tense email exchange, Beliveau scolds Francis for not helping his "situation."

"…I will always be your friend, but you will get nothing else…..until I get what you promise…. You give your whores more money than me ;)," Beliveau wrote, according to court documents. "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy…."

The filing does not elaborate on what Beliveau's situation may have been or what exactly he was supposedly promised, except that Francis offers to mail it to him or send it through Western Union.

Misiewicz, Beliveau and Francis were all arrested Monday and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Ed Harris, an attorney assigned to Misiewicz's first preliminary hearings in Colorado where he was arrested, declined to comment on the particulars of his client's case, noting that Misiewicz has not yet been indicted and arraigned and, therefore, has not entered a plea.

Neither Beliveau nor Francis have retained or been assigned an attorney as of this report, according to a the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.

CLICK HERE to return to The Investigative Unit homepage.

View Comments (930)

Recommended for You

  • Convict in 1964 civil-rights deaths won't confess

    PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — Craggy-faced and ornery, Edgar Ray Killen bears the signs of his 89 years. His hands are still scarred and rough from decades in the east Mississippi sawmills. He has a muscular build even as he maneuvers in his wheelchair. Time has not softened his views and he remains an…

    Associated Press
  • Kansas says new virus found after resident's death

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new virus thought to be carried by ticks or other insects has been discovered following the death of a southeast Kansas resident during the summer, public health officials said Monday.

    Associated Press
  • NYT to Obama: Appoint prosecutor to investigate Cheney for torture

    The New York Times is calling for a criminal investigation of former Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration for conspiring to commit torture against prisoners after 9/11.

    Yahoo News
  • China fails in bid to block UN meeting on N. Korea

    China failed on Monday to block the first-ever UN Security Council meeting on North Korea's dismal rights record after a strong majority of members voted in favor of the measure. China, Pyongyang's ally, said the Security Council was not the forum to discuss human rights issues, triggering the…

    AFP
  • Florida police officer dies on duty after getting shot, run over

    By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A veteran Florida police officer died on Sunday after being gunned down and run over with a car by a felon who said he "felt like a caged rat" because he faced likely arrest and more prison time, a law enforcement official said. Officer Charles Kondek, a…

    Reuters
  • McDonald's Isn't the Only One Feeding You 2,000-Calorie Meals

    Which meal would you rather eat: a Big Mac and fries from McDonald's or a burrito from Chipotle? With sales under the Golden Arches slumping in the past few months, it's clear that many consumers are ditching traditional burger chains in favor of healthier options. Given our sky-high obesity rates,…

    Takepart.com
  • View

    Truck crashes into pedestrians in Glasgow

    Police say some people died when a garbage truck crashed into a group of pedestrians in the city center of Glasgow in Scotland. Police said the incident Monday led to "a number of casualties and fatalities," but couldn't give more precise details. They said there was no indication that the crash,…

    Yahoo News
  • Death of Joe Cocker, 'greatest soul voice of Britain'

    Legendary singer Joe Cocker, whose intense, gritty voice won him wide acclaim that spanned both rock and blues, has died at age 70, his agent said. Cocker, who started off playing to small audiences in pubs in his native England, gained fame when he jolted the 1969 Woodstock festival with his…

    AFP
  • Lawyer says 'fix was in' when Winston cleared by FSU hearing

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The lawyer for Jameis Winston's accuser says "the fix was in" when Florida State cleared the star quarterback of violating the school's code of conduct.

    Associated Press
  • Police: Teen shot over possible athletic-shoe envy

    CINCINNATI (AP) — A mall shopper shot and killed a 16-year-old boy who attempted a robbery on the sidewalk outside, possibly in pursuit of a pair of limited-edition athletic shoes, police in southwest Ohio said Monday.

    Associated Press
  • Obama's popularity falls to record low among US troops. Why?

    If President Obama's approval ratings have slipped with the general population, they have plummeted to record lows within one segment of the population: the US military.

    Christian Science Monitor
  • View

    #10 of 10 Most Popular Galleries of 2014: Calling a Boeing home

    Bruce Campbell, a former electrical engineer, has transformed a retired Boeing 727 into a living space in Portland, OR. Campbell is one of a small number of people worldwide who have transformed retired aircraft into a living space or other creative projects, although a spokesman for the Aircraft…

    Yahoo News
  • Nigeria child bride confessed to killing husband: police

    A packed Nigerian court heard testimony on Monday that a 14-year-old girl admitted to killing her 35-year-old husband with rat poison, and signed a police confession with a thumbprint because she cannot write. Wasila Tasi'u, from a poor and deeply conservative Muslim family, has been charged with…

    AFP
  • Georgia man killed after firing at police, neighbors

    By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A man with a high-powered rifle was killed by police near Atlanta early on Monday after a tense four-hour standoff during which he fired at officers and neighbors, a police spokesman said. Police were called to a home in DeKalb County near Decatur on Sunday…

    Reuters
  • Watch the Moment When NYPD Officers Turn Their Backs on the Mayor

    Video has been released of the moment when a group of uniformed police officers turn their backs towards Mayor Bill de Blasio after two police officers were shot.

    ABC News
  • UN Security Council debates North Korea rights abuse

    The United States on Monday slammed North Korea as a "living nightmare" for its citizens at the first-ever UN Security Council meeting on Pyongyang's dismal rights record, held despite opposition from China. The unprecedented talks at the 15-member council opened after China, Pyongyang's ally,…

    AFP
  • The New Fast-Food Danger That Makes Obesity Look Like Child’s Play

    By now most American parents know the super-size effects of fast food on their kids’ bodies (just ask McDonald’s how its Happy Meals are doing). A new study suggests that obesity might be just one facet of unhealthy eating. Turns out, those processed meals might also be hurting children’s brains. 

    Takepart.com
  • 4 people including 2 children killed at Rockford home

    ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Four people, including two young boys, were killed in a shooting late Saturday at a home in the northern Illinois city of Rockford, authorities said.

    Associated Press
  • Iraqi Yazidi girls abducted by IS endured horror

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Women and girls from Iraq's Yazidi minority endured horrors at the hands of Islamic State group extremists after they were taken as slaves when last summer, leaving them deeply traumatized, an international watchdog group said in a report issued on Tuesday.

    Associated Press