Former Army Research Scientist Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Defraud The Government
RALEIGH – United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle, former Army Research scientist DWIGHT WOOLARD of Raleigh, North Carolina plead guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States government, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. At sentencing in January 2014, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, a $250,000 fine, and forfeiture of assets derived from his fraudulent activities. As part of his plea agreement, DR. WOOLARD will pay $842,403.70 in restitution to the Department of Defense.
United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker expressed his Office’s commitment to the prosecution of public officials who abuse their power for personal financial gain. “For almost a decade, Dwight Woolard abused the Army’s trust and stole monies designated for researching and developing innovative ways to protect and defend American military personnel in battle.”
According to the Government’s proffer, DR. WOOLARD worked at the Army Research Office in Durham as a Program Manager from September 1998 until his resignation in December 2012. The Army Research Office falls under the command of the United States Army Research and Development and Engineering Command whose mission is to provide integrated research, development, and engineering solutions to empower, unburden, protect, and sustain the warfighter. In his civilian position, DR. WOOLARD had control over Department of Defense funding on numerous government contracts and grants. Beginning in December 2001, DR. WOOLARD used his position to steer sub-contracts to his spouse and her company Qtronika. This work consisted of data entry for University scientists, website development for scientific research areas monitored by DR. WOOLARD and planning annual scientific conferences. In total, Dr. Woolard’s wife or her company received $842,403.70 from government funded projects.
Special Agent-in-Charge John F. Khin, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Southeast Field Office stated, “It is a top priority of the DCIS to ferret out and prosecute corrupt Department of Defense (DoD) officials. Former Army Engineer Dwight Woolard was terminated from his position with the Army Research Office in North Carolina in November 2012 based on findings of an investigation that he caused more than $1 million worth of DoD contracts to be awarded to his wife’s company. In addition to criminal sanctions, the DCIS is also pursuing forfeiture action to recoup losses to the Government.”
This was a joint investigation conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Susan Menzer is prosecuting the case for the government.