Francis and his cousin, a company manager, who was also arrested, have pleaded not guilty. Two Navy captains also have pleaded not guilty.
Ronis declined to say whether his client has agreed to cooperate with investigators in the expanding probe, which prompted the Navy to suspend two admirals’ access to classified material.
Beliveau faces a maximum sentence of 20 years for the two charges he’s admitting.
“He accepts responsibility for what he’s done and he’s hoping for a fair sentence,” Ronis said.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the development Thursday.
Francis’ lawyer, Pat Swan, also declined to comment on whether he is concerned Beliveau’s change in plea could hurt his client’s case.
According to a criminal complaint, Beliveau, 44, not only kept Francis abreast of the bribery probe but also advised him on how to respond.
Prosecutors say Francis bribed Navy commanders to move Navy vessels like chess pieces, diverting aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships to Asian ports with lax oversight where GDMA could inflate costs and invent tariffs by using phony port authorities.