Paducah False Claims Act Settled, More Anticipated
In Paducah, Kentucky, a False Claims complaint has been settled regarding landfill operations. The qui tam complaint, United States ex rel. Vander Boegh v. Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC, was filed by C. Dean Furman, Esquire on behalf of the United States of America, in addition to filing by Relator, Gary Vander Boegh, President of Commonwealth Environmental Services, LLC and Lockheed Martin project manager for Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant landfill operations. The original action filed by Attorney Furman was amended twice and alleged that Bechtel Jacobs’ removal of waste was improperly handled as “nonhazardous” when the company should have been aware that the waste was F-listed hazardous during the period of April 1998 to January 2002. In addition, it was alleged that Bechtel Jacobs improperly stored “no rad added” waste at the Paducah Plant and disposed of it at the Nevada Test Site, which is designated for radioactive waste, when it could have been disposed of less costly at the plant’s sanitary landfill. Lastly, Bechtel Jacobs is alleged to have “disposed of waste at the plant’s sanitary landfill even though those wastes contained excessive amounts of free liquids in February, May, June, and July 2004.” The total settlement amount was $230,000 for both actions, although this amount was less than Vander Boegh had expected.
Vander Boegh has now had two successful qui tam actions as a Relator and stated he and his company will be encouraging other Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant employees to file such “profitable” actions. To avoid retaliation and maximize future settlements, Vander Boegh encourages former and current PGDP workers to contact him before filing a complaint. Vander Boegh stated he is looking forward to working with Attorney General Jack Conway in prosecuting future qui tam cases and also in educating nuclear workers. Vander Boegh stated, “It is always extremely gratifying to be a part of returning money to the United States Treasury.”
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