Unethical conductAnd this was not the only example of unethical conduct on the part of Boeing.
In May 2003, the US Air Force announced it would lease 100 KC-767 tankers to replace the oldest 136 of its KC-135s. The 10 year lease would give the USAF the option to purchase the aircraft at the end of the contract. In September 2003, responding to critics who argued that the lease was vastly more expensive than an outright purchase, the DOD announced a revised lease of 74 aircraft and purchase of 26.
In December 2003, the Pentagon announced the project was to be frozen while an investigation of allegations of corruption by one of its former procurement staffers, Darleen Druyun (who had moved to Boeing in January) was begun. The fallout of this resulted in the resignation of Boeing CEO Philip M. Condit and the termination of CFO Michael M. Sears. Harry Stonecipher, former McDonnell Douglas CEO and Boeing COO, replaced Condit on an interim basis.
Druyun pleaded guilty to inflating the price of the contract to favor her future employer and to passing information on the competing Airbus A330 MRTT bid (from EADS). In October 2004, she was sentenced to nine months in jail for corruption, fined $5,000, given three years of supervised release and 150 hours of community service.
Industrial espionageIf Boeing had been a bit more honest it might have had a better chance of winning the contract.
In June 2003, Lockheed Martin sued Boeing alleging that the company had resorted to industrial espionage in 1998 to win the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) competition. Lockheed alleged that the former employee Kenneth Branch, who went to work for McDonnell Douglas and Boeing, passed 25,000 proprietary documents to his new employers. Lockheed argued that these documents allowed Boeing to win 21 of the 28 tendered military satellite launches.
In July 2003, Boeing was penalized, with the Pentagon stripping $1 billion worth of contracts away from the company and awarding them to Lockheed Martin. Furthermore, the company was forbidden to bid for rocket contracts for a twenty-month period which expired in March 2005.
In early September 2005, it was reported that Boeing was negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in which it would pay up to $500 million to cover this and the Darleen Druyun scandal.