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Aerospace Corp Pays $2.5m To Settle Rogue Software Dev Case 129

Posted by Soulskill
from the should've-outsourced dept.
chrb writes "U.S. company Aerospace Corp. has paid $2.5 million to settle a case that they defrauded the U.S. Air Force by knowingly billing for the services of a rogue software developer. The rogue developer, William Grayson Hunter, was being paid for two full time jobs at two different aerospace companies, but spent most of his time in bars, amusement parks and movie theaters. On some days, he billed his employers for over 24 hours' work."
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Aerospace Corp Pays $2.5m To Settle Rogue Software Dev Case

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  • Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by deatypoo (1837038) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @08:26PM (#38331452)
    I guess you need to be this obvious if you want to get caught over-billing the government
  • Rogue developer?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by new death barbie (240326) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @08:33PM (#38331494)

    Sounds like there was no development involved. If an accountant steals money by cooking the books, he's not a 'rogue accountant'. He's an embezzler.

    This guy is a fraud and a cheat. Nothing rogue about him.

  • A good start... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedgemage (934558) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @08:33PM (#38331498)
    You know, what really needs to be done to keep military contractors from defrauding the government, and thereby the US taxpayer is to start prosecuting cases as treason rather than slap-on-the-wrist fines. Every dollar that these parasites siphon from the DoD is a dollar less defending the US from legitimate threats, or at least a dollar less that the American people should be taxed. In these times of tight budgets and the prospect of painful cuts to both civilian and military programs, we should pursue those who seek to cheat the US military and treat them no differently than we would someone who is providing material aid and comfort to those who wish to do us harm.
    An organization that had no problems charging the Air Force for 'work' done by someone that they knew was simply an empty desk shows an absolute disregard for the taxpayers and the brave men and women in the military who serve to protect the US by putting themselves in harm's way. IMO this company got off easy when they should have faced the corporate death penalty.
  • by Iron Condor (964856) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @09:38PM (#38331824)
    There is, of course, the possibility that the man was just a good coder who was handed jobs that were bid as "six months of a full-time programmer" which he then slapped together in an afternoon of wild hacking and then just billed for the rest of the time while sitting in a bar. Pulling this off at two different employers at the same ime is impressive, but since employers don't exactly talk to each other who's just hired on I can easily see how one could fly under the radar like this.
  • by monoqlith (610041) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @09:46PM (#38331866)

    "This person was hired before we had sophisticated methods to verify international degrees," Aerospace spokeswoman Pamela Keeton said in a statement. "He failed to disclose his other employment as required."

    Sophisticated methods...like calling them and asking.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday December 10, 2011 @10:53PM (#38332178) Homepage Journal

    There is, of course, the possibility that the man was just a good coder who was handed jobs that were bid as "six months of a full-time programmer" which he then slapped together in an afternoon of wild hacking and then just billed for the rest of the time while sitting in a bar.

    There's also the possibility that he's a time traveler from the future who just jumped ahead to a time when you can just give jobs like those to super AI androids that look like Bar Rafaeli who will do them in the time it takes for them to give a foot-rub. Then he traveled back to the present, where he spent the day doing jello shots in a gentleman's club and was totally planning on delivering the project right on schedule and bug free.

    Granted, the possibility is pretty small, but still, as long as we're throwing around "possibilities"...

    On the other hand, he was probably just a lying scumbag who figured he'd take advantage of the sloppy practices of a military contractor who probably pads the bottom line to the tune of millions of dollars because they paid for a congressman's hookers and blow and slipped a fat envelope to his campaign manager.

    I've got a crisp $5 bill that says there's a much bigger "possibility" that this little bit of employee misconduct is not even close to the biggest fraud that Aerospace Corp has perpetrated on the US taxpayer, but by handing over this sleazebag they can totally misdirect attention away from the shipping containers full of money they're socking away in some little Caribbean tax haven.

    But it's OK because they're a "job creator", don'tcha know.

  • by tsotha (720379) on Saturday December 10, 2011 @11:48PM (#38332426)

    Heh. I never worked for Arerospace Corp, but when I was doing military projects I had the same surreal experience. My boss didn't have a "need to know", so he just went by whatever the program office said. Since it was R&D type work the program office didn't really know how long things should take. And I worked in a vault, so it wasn't like someone could have stumbled in and caught me sleeping. I could probably have gotten away with working one day out of three.

    But I didn't abuse it either. If you're on the right project your work amounts to a really cool hobby for which someone else is picking up the enormous tab.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Sunday December 11, 2011 @04:47AM (#38333428)

    "...There is, of course, the possibility that the man was just a good coder who was handed jobs that were bid as "six months of a full-time programmer" which he then slapped together in an afternoon of wild hacking."

    This.

    As a mechanic I was paid commission--I got 45% of the labor charge to the customer. Let's use a specific job as an example--4 ball-joints on an S-10 Blazer. An estimating guide (book time) is used by most shops to estimate costs for customers as well as billing. Michell guide puts this job at 6.0 hours. That is what the customer is charged, simple as that--6 hours at the going shop rate.

    Now here is where I come in. Since I have done this particular job many, many times, I know exactly what tools to take out of my tool box and set up on a cart. I know exactly what order to do things in, used multiple air hoses so I didn't waste time swapping out air tools, etc. I can actually do this 6 hour job in just over an hour. So I get paid for 45% of 6 hours labor for doing one hour of labor. Sounds like I'm ripping people off, right? Wrong, and here is why.

    If I rush that job and fuck it up for any reason, I have to do it OVER FOR FREE. I do not make money doing things over, so I have incentive to do it right the first time. The guy that is paid hourly has no reason to care--he might get fired eventually, but he'll get paid even for doing it again as long as he is on the clock. I got paid really well for my time because I kicked some ass, learned my trade and performed not just well, but well beyond what was expected--I was able to do the job so efficiently that it literally took me 1/6th of the time to do it. I should get paid less for that? Trust me, this is a rare example of that kind of efficiency--most of the time I roughly matched book times on most jobs. If it was a particularly big job (head gasket, tranny rebuild, etc), I would actually exceed the book times by quite a bit--it was a safe bet to be extra careful as rebuilding a transmission twice and only getting paid once sucks. Some jobs were quick and well paying, some were slow and not-so-good paying. They balanced out.

    The point is that I was paid to do a specific job, not to be on the fucking clock. As long as the job gets done, why should it matter if I'm in a bar scribbling notes on napkins?

    I think the issue here is that dude was entirely dishonest in almost every way he could have been. But other then that, did the guy actually do what he was paid to do?

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