In 1993 Darleen Druyun was investigated for her involvement in a plan to speed up payments by the Air Force to McDonnell Douglas. Although dozens of other people involved were convicted or discharged, Druyun kept her position. In 2000 Druyun sent the resumes of her daughter, a recent college graduate, and her daughter's fiancé, a published PhD Aeronautical Engineer, to Boeing and both were hired.
In May 2003, the United States 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 United States Department of Defense announced a revised lease. In November 2003, the Air Force decided it would lease 20 KC-767 aircraft and purchase 80 tankers.
Buying one KC-767 outright costs $150 million. The contract called for 100 aircraft being purchased or leased at an aggregate price of $37b, or $370m per plane. Therefore, the contract, if it had been executed, would have forced the DOD to pay Boeing much more money for each plane than it would have had to if the aircraft were purchased individually.
After leaving the Air Force in 2003 Druyun took a job with Boeing at an annual salary of $250,000. She also received a $50,000 signing bonus.
In December 2003, the Pentagon announced the project was to be frozen while an investigation of allegations of corruption by Druyun was begun. 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). CBS News called it "the biggest Pentagon scandal in 20 years" and said that she pleaded guilty to a felony.
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. She began her prison term on January 5, 2005. She was released from prison on September 30, 2005. The ramifications extended to Boeing CFO Michael M. Sears, who was fired from Boeing, and Boeing CEO Phil Condit resigned. On February 18, 2005, Sears was sentenced to four months in prison and Boeing ended up paying a $615 million fine for their involvement. According to The Federal Times, Darleen Druyun will still be receiving a federal pension. Druyun was also found guilty in awarding the initial Small Diameter Bomb contract to Boeing.
- "The Rise And Fall of A Maverick". Government Executive. 1 February 2004. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Combatting Procurement fraud, U.S. Department of Justice, February 18, 2005, archived from the original on 2006-09-25, retrieved 2008-11-12 (archived from the original on 2006-09-25).
- Leung, Rebecca (11 February 2009). "Cashing In For Profit?". CBS News. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- "Tanker Twilight Zone", Air Force magazine, February 2004, Vol. 87, No. 2.
- Wayne, Leslie (16 December 2004). "Air Force at Unease in the Capital". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- CBS News
- "Ex-Official Goes to Prison". The New York Times. 5 January 2005. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Palmer, Kimberly, "Former Air Force acquisition official released from jail," Government Executive.com, October 3, 2005.
-  Federal Times
- Comptroller General of the United States on Lockheed Martin Corporation--Costs
- Washington Post
- Mini-Biography of Darleen Druyun
- Air Force Darleen Druyun Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived December 21, 2002)