"FORMER HANFORDWORKER PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO SUBMIT FALSE TIME CARDS"
Yakima – Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Carl Schroeder, age 43, of Richland, Washington, pleaded guilty in United States District Court to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the Government with Respect to Claims. According to court documents, Mr. Schroeder pleaded guilty to allegations that for years he and other employees of CH2M Hill Hanford Inc. ("CH2M Hill"), including certain CH2M Hill supervisory personnel, submitted time cards falsely claiming pay for hours not actually worked. According to the plea agreement, because CH2M Hill was a prime contractor with the Department of Energy, the United States bore the entire loss caused by the conspiracy. Mr. Schroeder has agreed with the United States that, based on false time cards he submitted between May of 2004 and October of 2008, he was paid at least $50,000 for overtime he did not actually work.
Based on documents filed in court, Mr. Schroeder began working at CH2M Hill in 2002 and quickly learned that a scheme and conspiracy to submit false time cards was widespread. According to Mr. Schroeder's plea agreement, although the time card fraud scheme and conspiracy was contrary to CH2M Hill's written procedures, submitting false time cards for unearned pay was an accepted practice, which Mr. Schroeder learned of through a variety of means including through certain direct supervisors. Mr. Schroeder, in his plea agreement, admitted to participating in and profiting from the time card fraud scheme and conspiracy.
Based on court filings, the time card fraud conspirators also engaged in patterns designed to avoid detection by law enforcement. Additionally, the court documents reveal that certain CH2M Hill supervisory personnel, despite being aware of the time card fraud conspiracy in general and Mr. Schroeder's participation in particular, did not reprimand or admonish Mr. Schroeder in any way until the discovery of the conspiracy by law enforcement was brought to their attention.
"Employees of government contractors at Hanford who engage in corrupt practices, which defraud the government and the American people, must be held accountable," said Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. "This office, together with our law enforcement partners such as the Department of Energy Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are committed to thoroughly investigating all credible allegations of corporate fraud no matter how widespread the conspiracy and no matter how high up the corporate ladder a scheme may go."
Through his plea agreement Mr. Schroeder has agreed to continue to assist the investigation of the time card fraud scheme and conspiracy including providing true and complete testimony against other alleged conspirators. Mr. Schroeder has also agreed to, among other things, two years of supervised release and to pay a fine in the amount of at least $50,000.
A Conspiracy to Defraud the Government with Respect to Claims is a felony and Mr. Schroeder faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years incarceration. Mr. Schroeder's sentence will be determined by the United States District Court at sentencing which is currently scheduled for May 17, 2012.