Risk Management

Former Boeing CFO Pleads Guilty

Michael Sears ''failed to follow Boeing procedures for hiring government officials,'' according to the company.
Dave CookNovember 16, 2004

In a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, former Boeing Co. chief financial officer Michael Sears pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony count involving the illegal hiring of a top Air Force procurement officer, according to wire-service reports.

In October 2002, Darleen Druyun — then the Air Force’s No. 2 acquisition official — met with Sears to discuss a job opportunity at the Chicago-based manufacturer. Druyun didn’t disqualify herself from working on Boeing business until November 5, reported Bloomberg, which added that she left the Air Force later that month and joined Boeing in January 2003.

Boeing spokesman John Dern told Bloomberg earlier this year that Sears had failed to follow Boeing procedures for hiring government officials and that an internal review found that Sears and Druyun tried to conceal their misconduct. They were fired in November 2003; Boeing chief executive officer Phil Condit resigned a week later.

Druyun was sentenced last month to nine months in prison after admitting to giving Boeing an inflated price on a tanker contract as a “parting gift,” according to the Associated Press. That contract has been nullified, added the AP, which also reported that the Pentagon has requested a congressional investigation into other contracts involving Druyun.

Sears is scheduled to be sentenced on January 21. On the single count of aiding and abetting illegal employment negotiations, he faces a maximum of five years in prison, reported the AP. Sears’ lawyer, James Streicker, stated that his client will be sentenced to six months at the most, the wire service added.

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