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The Lasting Legacy of Operation Illwind

Twenty-five years ago today, a major multi-agency investigation into massive defense procurement fraud—later codenamed Operation Illwind—was announced to the world via a one-page press statement. By the time the dust had settled several years later, more than 60 contractors, consultants, and government officials had been prosecuted for their roles in the groundbreaking public corruption case.

The Lasting Legacy of Operation Illwind

Man putting envelope in jacketTwenty-five years ago today, a major multi-agency investigation into defense procurement fraud—later codenamed Operation Illwind—was announced to the world via a one-page press statement.

By the time the dust had settled several years later, the case revealed that some Defense Department employees had taken bribes from businesses in exchange for inside information on procurement bids that helped some of the nation’s largest military contractors win lucrative weapons systems deals. More than 60 contractors, consultants, and government officials were ultimately prosecuted—including a high-ranking Pentagon assistant secretary and a deputy assistant secretary of the Navy. As a monetary measure of the significance of the crimes, the case resulted in a total of $622 million worth of fines, recoveries, restitutions, and forfeitures.

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Jun 14, 2013 10:00 AM