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Former New Jersey FAA Supervisor Sentenced to Two Years Imprisonment for Accepting Bribes from an FAA Contractor

On March 6, Darrell K. Woods, a former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) program manager at the FAA’s Technical Center in New Jersey, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Trenton, New Jersey, for his role in accepting bribes from Maria Lianidis, former president of Digital Management Systems, Inc. (DMS)–a computer engineering company based in Absecon, New Jersey. Mr. Woods was sentenced to two years in prison, payment of $154,000 in restitution to the FAA, and serve three years of supervised release after completing his prison term. Mr. Woods pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in connection with accepting approximately $155,000 in cash between 2001 and 2005 for steering millions of dollars in contracts to DMS. The FAA has debarred Mr. Woods from Government contracting.

In exchange for these bribes, Ms. Lianidis influenced Mr. Woods in the performance of his official duties, which included participating in the creation of FAA contract solicitations and overseeing DMS’ performance on FAA contracts that DMS obtained with Mr. Woods’ assistance. Since 2001, Mr. Woods had issued about $2.5 million in purchase orders to DMS. Around January 2003, Mr. Woods drafted a sole source justification to award DMS a contract; ultimately, in October 2003, DMS was awarded a competitive contract that resulted in payments in excess of $4.2 million. DMS was bidding on a solicitation valued in excess of $34 million when OIG and the Internal Revenue Service executed search warrants in February 2005 and the solicitation was ultimately canceled. Ms. Lianidis, a former FAA employee, was sentenced for her role in the scheme in December 2008 to four years incarceration and fined $75,000.