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Tuesday, February 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wife of business head agrees to pay $235,000 after exposed as shell company at Hanford

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 9, 2017, 4:16 p.m.

Signs are posted by the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Benton County, in Richland, Wash. (Manuel Valdes / AP)
Signs are posted by the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Benton County, in Richland, Wash. (Manuel Valdes / AP)

The wife of a vice president of a company that already paid a $2 million settlement has agreed to pay $235,000 after a whistle blower showed she headed the shell company developed to siphon money off government contracts going to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

In 2009, Federal Engineers & Constructors awarded a $2 million contract to Sage Tec. Sage Tec, however, was owned by Laura Shikashio – the wife of company vice president Larry Burdge. “Ms. Shikashio knowingly misrepresented Sage Tec to be a qualified disadvantaged small business in order to be eligible for” the contract, court records state.

Federal prosecutors wrote that Sage Tec should not have received the contract and instead “was a pass-through front company for FE&C, which performed substantially all of the work on WCH’s improperly awarded subcontracts,” court records state.

Shikashio has agreed to pay $235,000 to resolve allegations that she violated the False Claims Act. Federal Engineers & Constructors earlier agreed to pay $2 million as part of the same investigation.

“The false statements in this case were intended to deceive the government into believing that a woman-owned, small and disadvantaged business was performing valuable work as a government subcontractor,” wrote Hannibal “Mike” Ware, who is the acting inspector general of the Small Business Administration.

The original whistle blower, Salina Savage, was paid about $47,000 from Shikashio’s $235,000 settlement agreement.

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