A Tennessee Valley Authority contractor, Stone & Webster Construction Inc., has agreed to pay the federal government $6.2 million to end a contract fraud investigation related to work at TVA nuclear plants in East Tennessee and Alabama. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Knoxville said in a release that the settlement resulted from a “comprehensive, ongoing parallel criminal and civil investigation” started by TVA in 2004. A search warrant was executed in 2006 on Stone & Webster’s premises at the Browns Ferry nuclear site in north Alabama. A subsidiary of The Shaw Group, Stone & Webster has a 10-year, one billion dollar-plus contract with TVA, the nation’s largest public utility.
The government alleged that to support claims for safety related performance fees from 2003 through 2006, the contractor provided false reports to TVA that “misclassified and understated the number and severity of employee injuries.” In addition to the $6.2 million, Stone & Webster has agreed to have the TVA Office of Inspector General monitor its future services. While the settlement resolves allegations against the contractor, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the TVA inspector general “continue to investigate individuals involved in the matter.” Also, Stone & Webster continues to be an approved contractor for TVA and apparently has other work ongoing with the government. As most of our readers will know, TVA provides electricity to distributors serving nearly 9 million people in Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Source: Associated Press
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