Former Navy employee says he'll plead guilty in Rhode Island to kickback scheme worth millions

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A former U.S. Navy civilian employee says he will change his plea to guilty in a case that accuses him of leading a multimillion-dollar kickback scheme.

In a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Providence on Wednesday, Ralph Mariano says he will plead guilty to conspiracy, theft of government property and tax evasion. The agreement says the government lost $7 million to $20 million from his part in the scheme.

Prosecutors say Mariano, of South Arlington, Va., used contractors to funnel government money back to himself and others.

Six people have been charged in the scheme, and four have already pleaded guilty. Mariano's girlfriend, an executive at a Georgia-based contractor involved in the scheme, said on Tuesday she would also plead guilty.