Monday, March 4, 2013

Former DCAA Auditor Indicted for Conflict of Interest

Last week, the U.S. Attorney's office in Anchorage, AK issued a press release, announcing that an Anchorage woman was indicted by the federal grand jury in Anchorage for violating conflict of interest laws.

According to the indictment, the woman was an auditor with the Department of Defense's Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) from January 2003 to September 2006. During that time, she was the primary auditor of cost proposals, labor rates and claims for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The MDA is the agency that develops, tests, and fields the ballistic missile defense system for the U.S.

In September 2006, the auditor left DCAA and whet to work for Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) as its controller. AAC was established in 1991 by the State of Alaska to develop a high technology aerospace industry in the state. AAC became a contractor for MDA in 2003 with a five year contract to provide support for launches from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Kodiak, Alaska.

The indictment alleges that in July 2008, the former auditor represented AAC during communications and negotiations with her former Government employer, DCAA, about the same MDA contract she had previously audited, with the intent to influence DCAA about that contract. This representation, according to the indictment, was a violation of a lifetime restriction which barred such communications.

The maximum penalty for violating the conflict of interest statute, which imposes a permanent restriction against communicating on behalf of another on a matter in which the person participated personaly and substantially as a government employee is up to five years in prison and a $250 thousand fine. An arraignment date has been set for later this month.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

You can read the full press release here.

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