Hanford contractor to pay more than $18.5 million

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RICHLAND — One of the contractors charged with cleaning up the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site has agreed to pay an $18.5 million penalty related to a time card fraud scheme, under a settlement agreement announced Wednesday.

CH2M Hill Hanford Group Inc. held a contract from 1999-2008 to clean out underground waste tanks at Hanford. Workers at the company routinely overstated the number of hours they worked, and some company managers condoned the practice and submitted inflated claims to the Department of Energy.

Under the agreement, CH2M Hill admitted its subsidiary was a co-conspirator in the scheme and agreed to pay a $16.55 million civil penalty and return $1.95 million in wrongfully obtained profits to the federal government.

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