• Another Whistleblower Speaks Out: Air Force Contract Fraud

    July 18, 2014

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Military

    Looking for a new hero? Meet former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tim Ferner, who exposed millions in U.S. government contract fraud, and paid the price for his patriotism.

    Contract Fraud with Your Money

    Tim Ferner blew the whistle on a contract-steering scam involving a middleman in Florida and an engineering company hired to develop anti-terrorism techniques.

    Tim Ferner suspected the scam in 2007 when his superiors at the Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center downplayed his concerns about how contracts were being doled out. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), received those contracts.

    Ferner tried to go through military channels to stop the fraud he witnessed, Instead of helping, his superiors made his life difficult, even threatening to deploy him to Afghanistan while he was undergoing cancer treatment. Ultimately, he was fired from his job as Chief of Staff for the Coalition and Irregular Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base and relegated to a menial position. With channels closed off and retaliation underway, the case went to court.


    SAIC and the government reached a settlement. The Department of Justice went to pains to note the settlement contained “allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.” However, SAIC agreed to pay the government $5.75 million to resolve allegations it circumvented the bidding process to obtain lucrative contracts.

    Ferner’s lawyers claimed the alleged scam was facilitated by a civilian middleman who “claimed to be a high-ranking government official who had authority to bypass the bidding process, none of which was true.” Ferner himself “was alarmed that his military supervisors condoned and wanted to cover up the violation.”

    And hey, small world: SAIC around the same time also paid the government $11.75 million to settle allegations it charged inflated prices for another, unrealted, contract.

    EXCLUSIVE: Ferner Recounts His Whistleblowing

    Ferner received a nice financial award under the False Claims Act, and left the U.S. for New Zealand. In an exclusive, he speaks out on his own experience as a whistleblower, with some hard words for America about how its government works:

    Exactly one year after my whistle-blowing case became public, I’m looking back and wondering: “What the hell was I thinking?” Like many whistleblowers, my allegations were validated; I was vindicated but nobody was ever held accountable. So actually, what was accomplished?

    My case pales in comparison to others working in the government who have come across really bad people doing horrendous things. All across America there are thousands of regular people, brave men and women who happen upon malfeasance. These people had the courage and conviction to do the right thing and report it. Why? Like myself, these people did the right thing because honor and integrity are the core essence of who they are. Unfortunately, honesty, integrity and dedication to professionalism are dying traits across America and individuals who demonstrate these qualities are punished, especially those who work within the government sector.

    I’ve always felt that as a member of the United States military it was an honor and privilege to serve a great nation. And that, in addition to my legal obligations, I had a moral obligation to ensure that the monies the American people paid were spent in the most effective and efficient manner. I always treated government monies the same as my own personal money and spent it judiciously. Unfortunately, other military members and government employees don’t hold the same view. Consequently, millions and millions of taxpayers’ dollars are wasted needlessly. Like thousands of other whistle-blowers working for the government, I found out what happens when you have the audacity to call them out on fraud, waste and abuse and try and hold people accountable.

    The terrorist attacks that occurred on 9/11 changed our country in many ways. People don’t recognize that it’s changed the way the government provides safety and security to the people. The government embraced contractors to provide security in keeping America safe. We seem to be safer but at what cost? This decision has transformed the governmental contracting process into something akin to a gigantic hog’s trough. The government pours an endless supply of money into the trough and the contractors continue to “belly up” and feed totally unchecked. The government provides little oversight over monies spent and a fearful public doesn’t care so long as they think they are safe.

    Consequently, unscrupulous individuals continue to line their pockets at our expense. Even when they are caught, the government does nothing and seemingly doesn’t care. Contractors pay huge fines under the auspices of “avoiding the costs of protracted litigation” while the individuals involved plead to lesser charges in exchange for working with prosecutors. The fraud, waste and abuse is so prevalent that this ridiculous cycle is the only way to keep it in check. The “Justice System” is devoid of any justice or accountability; it’s solely a process designed to make it look like something is being done.

    I uncovered in excess of $42 million in fraud. Despite this, nobody has been prosecuted or held accountable. Like so many other contractors, a multimillion dollar settlement was paid to the government to “costly, protracted litigation.” The individual operating as the “middleman” was ultimately found to be liable for $42 million. Despite this, he negotiated this down and paid a fine of $105,000 in exchange for providing assistance to the government in “ongoing investigations.” Amazingly, all these people still have security clearances and still work as a contractors for the government. What message does this send about the government’s commitment to honesty and integrity in the contracting community?

    The Air Force officers responsible for overseeing the programs involved in the fraud all walked away with no repercussions to their careers. The taxpayers paid a lot of money to some very senior officers to not be held accountable. A sad commentary that in today’s Air Force, the moral fibre of the command environment is so fetid that it views fraud as a normal cost of doing business. Nice to know the senior leaders who are deciding the fate of your sons and daughters get that privilege given their lack of morality. How can we expect them to make an appropriate decision on the sanctity of life when they lack the morality to decide simple things like what’s right and wrong concerning contract fraud? Aren’t the military supposed to be above the pettiness of politics? Or has the military just become another breeding ground for the dysfunctional politicians that now stymie our political system? Given the fiscal state of the country people should be outraged!

    Like so many other whistle-blowers; I know in my heart I did the right thing in reporting the fraud. And again, like so many other whistle-blowers I was the only one who paid a price throughout the ordeal. Ostracised, targeted and ultimately punished because I had the audacity to believe we the people deserve better. When are we going to start holding people accountable? Like other whistleblowers; I’ve done my part. Everybody needs to do their part. It’s hard for others to look at maleficence in government and report it when they see how whistleblowers are treated but more needs to be done.

    I hope you never find yourself in the unenviable position of being a whistleblower; and I mean that. Yeah, I got a nice settlement for my troubles as a whistleblower but that’s not why I did it. I did it because it was the right thing to do. Knowing what I know now, I’m still looking back thinking; “What the hell was I thinking?”

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Warning: Even if you are on the right track, anyone trying to stand in the way of the Gravy Train is gonna get run over.

      07/18/14 12:15 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      Did SAIC have any party affiliations, or did they contribute to any parties election efforts?
      jim hruska

      07/18/14 2:20 PM | Comment Link

    • Randy Townsend said...


      I’ve known Tim since the mid-1980’s when we were stationed together in Texas. He’s exactly what he was then – an honorable man. Too bad honor is in short supply in the upper echelon of our military. Well done, Tim!

      07/18/14 6:57 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      At least he got a settlement..vs 20 yrs in prison..like some whistle blowers. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely positive Obama’s crusade on whistle blowers has caused people to think twice now. Just another Obama “transparency” lie. And to think I listened to his “whistle blower protections” bullshit and thought..Cool. Little did I know what a lying sack of shit he is. And that’s what really pisses me off at Obama. Is he BETRAYED every single person who voted for him. The first time. Any one who voted for him the second time..deserved it.

      I have a feeling though, something is going to bring this cocksucker down though. You can’t fool all the people all the time. And one of his bullshit lies is gonna do him in before 2016. Well..hope springs eternal.

      07/18/14 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “And one of his bullshit lies is gonna do him in before 2016.”

      The Mafia sticks together …until it sees an angle to whack the other guy.

      07/18/14 9:37 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Thank you, Mr. Ferner.

      It’s crazy that someone had to go through this during cancer treatment.

      Per Jim Hruska’s question – a graph on which parties top defense contractors contribute to:


      07/18/14 9:39 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      On another note..I’ve had this gut feeling for neigh on 30 years, mostly because of my upbringing in a Christian family, that at some point, Christians will be persecuted again..just like the many human beings are right now, simply because the believe in something. In light of the last 40 years of witnessing the unrelenting assault on human beings that want nothing but peace, love, family, beliefs in a GOD that distributes grace, forgiveness, love and understanding, all I can say is ….most of the DCOTP missed the train.

      I feel real ambiguous right now about the human capacity for understanding, …….they are NOTHING…ZILCH…ZERO … . the proof is look into the universe.

      07/18/14 11:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      I uncovered in excess of $42 million in fraud. Despite this, nobody has been prosecuted or held accountable.
      One of the biggest financial crises were those big banks, did any of those boss whoever was in palce has been prosecuted?

      The other one which made your jaw drops for ever that man “L. Paul Bremer was the fat kid in the candy store whose mother told him, “You deserve this, Honey.” He was completely irresponsible with his decision making, applying Cold War anti-communist tactics to the international Ba’ath Party believing the US military could somehow overcome every one of his ridiculous policies shortcomings with omnipotent force.” with The Missing $9.2 Billions, vanished from his hand and yet again not has been prosecuted whatsoever?

      07/19/14 1:36 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Meanwhile, ANOTHER whistle blower goes public…


      Good luck to him too. I would imagine heads are exploding exponentially in the IC, even though his article was “vetted” for any “classified” info by the IC and White House. Meanwhile, I’m sure some people in the DOJ are furiously looking for one overlooked shred of evidence to prosecute him with impunity. After all, can’t have people making the NSA/USG look like the illegal Surveillance State, even if they ARE. I mean, really..of all the nerve.

      insert rolling eye smiley here.

      Meanwhile, the comment section provides ultimate proof the CIA/NSA shills,sockpuppets and real Milpropaganda specialists are alive and itching to spread their weapons of mistrust, obfuscation, disinformation, misinformation..and vanilla flavored lies.


      07/19/14 12:25 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      “He was completely irresponsible with his decision making, applying Cold War anti-communist tactics to the international Ba’ath Party believing the US military could somehow overcome every one of his ridiculous policies shortcomings with omnipotent force.” with The Missing $9.2 Billions, vanished from his hand and yet again not has been prosecuted whatsoever?”

      Dear JEdgar, that number — $9.2 billion — has since been upped quite a bit. Plus, dont forget the missing arms shipment to Iraq that is believed to have been syphoned to groups in Lebabon, not to mention other ‘events’ like this http://www.publicintegrity.org/2008/12/10/6297/190000-missing-weapons-iraq

      07/19/14 2:15 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...


      Thanks, and of course SAIC is on the list.

      07/19/14 3:55 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”In December 2003, Ambassador Bremer and the Coalition Provision Authority asked for a shipment of $1.5 billion to be flown into Iraq, and a Federal Reserve official described this in an email as the largest payout of US currency in US history. But this didn’t remain the largest for very long, because in June, $2.4 billion was sent to Iraq, and this time the Federal Reserve official wrote, quote, “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the CPA is ordering $2,401,600,000 in currency.”unquote

      Gee, just when you think the FED prints money out of thin air..



      Living proof Murka is the DUMBEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET.

      07/19/14 4:47 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      Oh, and then, there’s all those suitcases filled with “ghost” cash the CIA gave good ole Afghanistan prez Hamid Karzai…for DECADES..


      quote“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.” unquote

      Ghost money. Right. They don’t have a clue where it went..ummmm, I have news for ya… that’s what’s in my wallet. Ghost money.


      One Afghan source said ““The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” unquote

      The good ole USA…a source of corruption? Naaaaww…Really?? whudda thunk..

      sheeezusHfuckingcrist. The DCOTP(tm) indeed. Meanwhile, Congress decides Murka’s seniors are living too high on the hog, so they cut the SNAP program. “We’ll teach these overeating seniors a lesson” says Senator Scumbag Stabenow, while ringing up $2000 in groceries for the month.. “I made a deal with Senator Pond Scum to cut $40 billion from SNAP, effective immediately. Besides, these seniors need to loose some pounds anyway.”..says 300lb Senator Stabenow.

      07/19/14 5:13 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      What about the US Marines Find Interesting Bricks in Iraq September 12, 2003

      07/19/14 6:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Jhoover said...


      “Gee, just when you think the FED prints money out of thin air..”

      You know what?

      $100 Note cost to print 6C?

      So One Barrel of oil cost 6C?

      OK Now how much you pay to full your car tank at the pump?

      Who suck your money?

      07/19/14 6:32 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”Who suck your money?”unquote

      You’ll find the answer here:


      07/20/14 1:29 PM | Comment Link

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