Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday a deal to have the worlds largest engineering firm, CH2M Hill, pay $18.5 million to resolve criminal and civil violations arising from a scheme to overbill taxpayers through time-card fraud at the Hanford nuclear site.
CH2M Hill contracted with the U.S. Department of Energy between 1999 and 2008 to manage and clean 177 underground storage tanks that hold radioactive and hazardous waste at Hanford, which produced plutonium during World War II and the Cold War.
The fraud came as a result of employees for a CH2M Hill subsidiary – CH2M Hill Hanford Group Inc. – overstating the number of hours they worked. Company officials acknowledged, as part of the settlement, that certain members of its management staff condoned the practice and furthered the fraud by submitting inflated claims for hours to the Department of Energy, U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby said in a news release.
The fraud allegations came to light after former employee Carl Schroeder filed a whistle-blower lawsuit. Schroeder later pleaded guilty to the scheme. Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen can sue on behalf of the United States and share in the recovery unless, like Schroeder, they were convicted based on their role in the scheme.
Source: To read the complete article see: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/mar/07/hanford-contractor-ch2m-hill-to-pay-185-million/