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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Hanford kickbacks lead to $1.5M deal

A subsidiary of the engineering firm CH2M Hill has agreed to pay federal authorities $1.5 million to resolve allegations that its employees knowingly submitted false claims and paid kickbacks as part of its contract to operate and manage mixed radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Site.

 Between 2003 and 2005, two employees made more than 200 purchases from companies owned and operated by their spouses and either charged inflated prices or didn’t provide the items to the U.S. Department of Energy. Both were working for CH2M Hill as part of the cleanup of 170 underground tanks that story radioactive and hazardous waste, according to a news release.

 Three of four persons involved in the scheme have already pleaded guilty on fraud charges. One other has a criminal trial pending.

 “Government contractor fraud at Hanford simply will not be tolerated,” Michael Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said in the news release. “This resolution demonstrates that corporations will be held accountable when they turn a blind eye to fraud and self-dealing.”

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