Nuclear Site Contract Results in $4 Million Settlement to Resolve FCA and Anti-Kickback Act Violations
On June 17, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement of claims against Fluor Hanford, Inc. alleging that the company knowingly submitted false claims and paid and received kickbacks relating to a contract to operate and manage radioactive waste at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Nuclear Site in Hanford, Washington. Fluor has agreed to pay the U.S. government $4 million to resolve both the false claims and kickback allegations.
Internal audits by Fluor alerted the company to weaknesses in its purchase card controls, which was exploited by three individuals who coordinated the handling of the mixed radioactive waste. It is alleged that these coordinators made hundreds of fraudulent purchases using government credit cards to funnel the Department of Energy funds to themselves. In addition, at least fourteen material coordinators from Fluor solicited and accepted kickbacks from a Hanford-area vendor known as a Fast Pipe and Supply Company and its owner, Shane Fast. The kickbacks were comprised of gift cards, cash, tickets to sporting events, and other items of value. The government alleged that the material coordinators gave in excess of $3.5 million in business to Fast Pipe in exchange for these kickbacks.
Five former Fluor employees were indicted for their participation in the schemes detailed above; four have pled guilty, while the fifth is presently awaiting trial. The investigation of these was conducted by the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington and the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General.
For more information see: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/June/11-civ-793.html