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Press Release

Sulphur man pleads guilty to submitting false information to contractor regulated by nuclear commission

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. – U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a Sulphur man pleaded guilty Thursday to submitting a false certification to perform inspections on a nuclear module being constructed at a Lake Charles construction yard.

Joseph B. Burnworth, 35, of Sulphur, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Patricia Minladi to one count of submission of false information. According to the guilty plea, from April to August of 2013, Burnworth performed quality control visual inspections of welds on a nuclear module being constructed by a company in Lake Charles. The defendant did not possess the certification required to perform such work and instead used a false certificate to secure the job.  He performed 150 such inspections, which had to be re-inspected by a properly certified inspector. Additionally, Burnworth assisted two other individuals with obtaining and presenting false certifications to gain similar employment.

Burnworth faces up to two years in prison, one year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine. A sentencing date of November 3, 2016 was set.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myers P. Namie and Dominic Rossetti are prosecuting the case.

Updated July 29, 2016