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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hookers part of alleged NCIS agent bribery scheme

SAN DIEGO — The head of a Singapore-based defense contractor was charged in San Diego Tuesday with bribing a Navy commander and a criminal investigator with prostitutes and luxury travel in exchange for confidential information on multimillion-dollar work contracts.

One complaint alleges that the CEO of Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. was slipped documents about a Naval Criminal Investigative Service fraud probe into how his company obtained a government contract potentially worth $125 million.

A second complaint alleges that Navy Cmdr. Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz gave the CEO tips months in advance about the worldwide movements of Navy ships, giving him the edge on obtaining other highly lucrative contracts to provide maintenance, repair and other port services.

The contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, was arrested in San Diego Monday evening and appeared in federal court Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The 58-year-old Malaysian national remains in custody pending a Friday detention hearing.

Misiewicz, 46, assigned to the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, was arrested in Colorado Monday and NCIS supervisory Special Agent John Beliveau, 44, was arrested in Virginia.

Prosecutors said they will seek to bring Misiewicz and Beliveau to San Diego to face charges.

All three men are charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, which carries a five-year federal prison term.

The criminal complaint was filed Friday in San Diego federal court and unsealed Tuesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Huie said additional charges could be added.

Glenn Defense Marine, a multinational corporation with offices across the Far East, has held Navy contracts for more than 25 years, according to the complaint.

The firm provides “husbanding” services to the Navy, including coordinating schedules and procuring fuel, tugboats, trash removal, security and other services needed by ships and submarines that arrive in port.

The complaint said Misiewicz, as former deputy operations officers for the Seventh Fleet aboard the command ship Blue Ridge, had high-level access to the fleet’s maneuvers across the Pacific and Indian oceans. He is alleged to have had influence over scheduling ship port visits.

The complaint alleges that Francis and an unnamed former Navy officer who went to work for Glenn Defense Marine targeted Misiewicz in 2010 “as someone who might be susceptible” to providing favors to the company “in return for things of value.”

Misiewicz, born in Cambodia, was adopted and raised in the United States, married and has four children. He traveled to Cambodia in 2011 with family, and the complaint states that investigators have found no record that any of them reimbursed Francis for costs of the trip.

Beliveau, based at Quantico, Va., had access to the NCIS database, including the investigative reports of other agents, the complaint says.

He is alleged to have exchanged dozens of emails with Francis from 2010 to 2013, passed along investigation information, taken free trips including one five-nation Asian tour last year, accepted prostitutes and other gifts.

The complaint alleges Beliveau secretly downloaded reports on one fraud case into a $125 million service contract won by Glenn Defense Marine, and gave Francis tips on how to handle the NCIS inquiries.

The complaint also alleges that in 2010 the company submitted false claims to be reimbursed by the Navy for $110,000 in services at a port in Thailand. The next year, Francis is alleged to have emailed Beliveau a reservation at a Bangkok hotel and arranged for a female escort.

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