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Contractor at Hanford Nuclear Waste Project Admits Fraud

Hanford Nuclear Waste Complex

The nuclear waste processing facility near Hanford, Wash.

A “key contractor” involved in the construction of a nuclear waste processing plant in Hanford, Wash., admitted to criminal time card fraud, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

The contractor, CH2M Hill, was charging the government for overtime work that was not performed. CH2M Hill agreed in a settlement to pay back the $2 million in profit it earned from the scheme as well as $16.5 million to “resolve its civil liabilities.”

The project is over-budget and years behind schedule, but this latest scandal does not seem to be halting the complex.

From the article:

The problems, however, have not dimmed political support for the project, given the threat that about 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge at the site could eventually leak and reach the nearby Columbia River.

"Even with all the money rupturing out of the Treasury on this project, Congress doesn't care," said Tom Carpenter, executive director of the Hanford Challenge, a watchdog group that has helped expose many of the technical and management problems at the project.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Image from Hanford.gov.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Energy and Natural Resources

Related Content: Contractor Accountability, Energy & Environment, Federal Contractor Misconduct, Waste

Authors: Andre Francisco

Submitted by Been There at: November 11, 2013
This company certainly needs a over-site and not by DOE. The US Attorney General needs to take a close look of every day business ... it would be an eye opener. The fines were a slap on the hand, period. A company that is seven to eight layers of management heavy, without focus on anything but their hefty checks and bonuses ... you can bet is dirty. Deeply Dirty. And if you bring a concern forward, they simply blackball you and run your ass off.
Submitted by CH2M - Deplorable at: May 25, 2013
You've got to be kidding - CH2M Hill as one of the "world's Most Ethical" companies! HA! They are guilty of civil AND CRIMINAL fraud - and this is only one of a lost list of illegal activities. They never did come clean about how they pulled the trigger on Tom Huntsinger (a former exec who expressed unethical conduct in the CH2M firm). Instead they did everything they could to blackball him to the point where he's dead. Hire them and you're further continuing their litany of unethical conduct and corruption.
Submitted by exoffivio at: March 15, 2013
CH2MHill has contracts with most counties and cities, perhaps states as well. Hmmm... time for an extensive audit?
Submitted by Truth Teller at: March 8, 2013
CH2MHill is a pretty large and widely respected engineering firm. That it copped a plea, in so many words, and got away with less than $20 million in "settlement," seems pretty fortunate for the company. But why isn't the US Attorney and the US government looking into--and seeking an indictment for criminal violations of the the FCA and related fraud statutes. Finally, if a firm lies big time on silly little things like a few million dollars of time sheets, why should the government trust and respect its engineering and other technical judgements on the leaking and burping radioactive waste tanks. Betcha some big name firm designed and built those tanks. But by trust a firm now that does the most brazen thing imaginable with administrative tasks?

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