Defense contractor pays $60,000 fine to US Attorney

A former employee of an Aurora-based defense contractor has agreed to pay $60,000 for improperly obtaining bids and proposal information about contracts for the National Reconnaissance Office, according to John Walsh, United States Attorney for Colorado.

Ian Colle, the former senior director of software engineering for Paragon, acknowledged his role in obtaining bid and proposal information that Raytheon had given the NRO. Earlier this year, Paragon paid $1.15 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Procurement Integrity Act.

Colle also agreed to the facts in the allegations: that he was assigned to work at Raythoen in Aurora while an employee for Paragon Dynamics. He provided assistance to Raytheon on certain projects. At some point, Colle used his access at Raytheon to search for and obtain competitors’ bid and proposal information. He also improperly obtained a letter signed by Raytheon’s CEO that was to be included in the company’s proposal for a contract known as Antietam. Colle was videotaped by a Raytheon security camer as he faxed the letter to the president of Paragon Dynamics. An investigation revealed that Colle had improperly obtained entire drafts of Raytheon’s proposals for Antietam and a related contract proposal known as Savannah.

“When contractors compete to win a government contract, they have to play by the rules,” said Eric Beatty the NRO assistant inspector general for investigations. “Our success is a direct result of our partnerships with law enforcement agencies and to those in government and industry who are willing to report wrongdoing.”

The Procurement Integrity Act was enacted in the late 1980s in response to allegations of insider trading on government contractor procurement information. Among its provisions, the act has clear prohibitions against disclosing or obtaining types of contractor bid and proposal information.