Hanford contractor pays $18.5M to resolve alleged time card fraud

CH2M Hill Hanford Group and its parent company, CH2M Hill Companies Ltd. has admitted to federal, civil and criminal violations by defrauding the public through years of widespread time card fraud.

The company has agreed to pay a $18.5 million dollars to resolve civil and criminal liability and to commit $500,000 towards accountability systems; to consent to a corporate monitor; and to continue actively cooperating with an ongoing fraud investigation.

As part of the settlement, the company will refund nearly $2 million dollars in wrongfully obtained profits.   In addition, the Justice Department has also signed a criminal non-prosecution agreement with CH2M Hill as part of the settlement.

To date, eight individuals have pleaded guilty to engaging in the same time card fraud scheme and conspiracy.

Specifically, certain workers admitted to claiming a full eight hours of work when they were assigned to overtime shifts after their regular workdays or work weeks ended, even though they worked fewer than eight hours of overtime.

U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby states “This sort of systematic fraud is an appalling abuse of the trust we place in our contractors at Hanford and it simply will not be tolerated.”

The civil fraud allegations under the False Claims Act resolved by today’s settlement were initially alleged in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Carl Schroeder, a former employee of CH2M Hill and one of those who pleaded guilty to the scheme.