Raleigh man pleads guilty to diverting military research funds

akenney@newsobserver.comSeptember 19, 2013 

— A Raleigh man owes $842,000 to the Department of Defense after pleading guilty Thursday to charges of a conspiracy to defraud the federal government.

Dwight Woolard steered subcontracts to his spouse and her company for much of his tenure as a U.S. Army research scientist in Durham, according to a release from the eastern North Carolina district of the United States Attorney’s Office. Woolard was a program manager at the Durham office from 1998 until his termination in December 2012.

Woolard sent data-entry work, website development and conference-planning jobs to his wife, who was not named in a written release, and the company Qtronika, the release states. Qtronika has no apparent Internet presence and is not listed in North Carolina government records.

“I really have no comment,” said a woman who answered a phone number associated with the business. She declined to say whether the business still exists.

Over 11 years, Woolard’s wife and Qtronika received about $842,000 in government-funded projects, according to the United States Attorney’s eastern North Carolina office.

“For almost a decade, Dwight Woolard abused the Army’s trust and stole monies” meant for the development of “innovative ways to protect and defend American military personnel in battle,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a written statement.

Woolard faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and forfeiture of fraudulently gained assets; he’ll be sentenced in January 2014.

Kenney: 919-829-4870

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