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Navy investigator pleads guilty in multi-million fraud probe

John Beliveau II, center, and his attorneys, Gretchen von Helms, left, and Jessica Carmichael arrive at the federal courthouse, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in San Diego.
Lenny Ignelzi, AP

SAN DIEGO - A senior U.S. Navy criminal investigator has pleaded guilty to bribery charges stemming from a multi-million-dollar fraud probe targeting an Asian defense contractor.

John Beliveau II entered his guilty plea in federal court Tuesday in San Diego.

Beliveau acknowledged keeping Malaysian-contractor Leonard Glenn Francis abreast of the investigation in exchange for trips and prostitution services. Francis has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Beliveau could face a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The conviction is a first for federal prosecutors in the massive scandal that has ensnared six Navy officials so far and could lead to an expansion of the probe if Beliveau cooperates with authorities as part of his plea agreement.

His attorney and prosecutors declined to say whether Beliveau had agreed to help.