Procurement Fraud

Acquisition fraudster Lessons learned from Darleen Druyun

By Colin May, CFE
Case in Point

Contract and procurement fraud can be especially enticing to those seeking to line their pockets at the expense of taxpayers and military personnel. Here are some lessons we can learn from the crimes of the "Dragon Lady."

Darleen Druyun was regarded as one of the toughest contract negotiators in the federal government. She also had a reputation as one of the toughest managers to work for in the Pentagon. But in the end, Darleen Druyun was nothing more than a convicted felon.

She was, by all accounts, a successful civil servant. Druyun had held several senior executive positions at various government agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and NASA. From 1992 to 1993, she ran the day-to-day operations as its chief of staff.1 It was in the height of her career - as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions and management - that she fell fast.

On April 20, 2004, Druyun pled guilty in U.S. federal court to a single count of conspiracy. She was charged with conspiracy, "... knowingly, intentionally and willfully [participating] personally and substantially as a government employee ... in a contract ... in which to her knowledge [of] the Boeing Company, a company with whom she was negotiating concerning prospective employment, had a financial interest in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 208(a) and 216(a)(2)."2 

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