(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The U.S. Justice Department and received via
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.)
NOVEMBER 8, 2012
US GOVERNMENT INTERVENES IN FALSE CLAIMS LAWSUIT
AGAINST FLUOR COMPANIES
Texas-based Company Allegedly Used Federal Funds for Lobbying
WASHINGTON - The government has intervened in a lawsuit against
Fluor Hanford Inc. and its parent company, Fluor Corporation
(collectively Fluor), in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Washington, the Justice Department announced today.
Fluor Hanford, Inc. is a subsidiary of Fluor Corporation, a
Texas-based corporation that provides a wide variety of services
to government and private customers. The False Claims Act
lawsuit was originally filed by whistleblower Loydene Rambo, a
former employee of Fluor.
Between 1999 and 2008, Fluor had a prime contract with the
Department of Energy (DOE) to provide a wide variety of
security, maintenance and operational services at the DOE’s
Hanford Nuclear Site in southeastern Washington State. As part
of its contract, Fluor was responsible for managing and
operating the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency
Response (HAMMER) Center, a federally-funded facility
established to train Hanford site workers as well as first
responders and law enforcement personnel.
The whistleblower complaint alleges that, as a condition of
receiving its DOE contract, Fluor was required to certify that
it would not use federal funds for lobbying activities. The
complaint further alleges that between 2005 and 2008, Fluor
ignored these restrictions and used DOE funding to lobby
Congress and executive branch officials for more funding for
HAMMER. The complaint alleges that Fluor, and two lobbying
firms hired by Fluor and paid using DOE funds, Secure Horizons
LLC and Congressional Strategies LLC, lobbied members of
Congress and executive branch agencies to include additional
funds for HAMMER in agency appropriations. The United States
intervened in the lawsuit with respect to Fluor, but declined to
intervene with respect to additional defendants, including
Secure Horizons LLC and Congressional Strategies LLC.
“The taxpayer money Congress allocated for this program was for
training federal emergency response personnel and first
responders, not to lobby Congress and others for more funding,”
said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the
Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “When public funds
are misused, as alleged in this case, the Justice Department
will work to restore them to the Treasury.”
“The allegations set forth in the whistleblower complaint are
troubling and very serious,” said Michael C. Ormsby, U.S.
Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. “My office will
continue to work with the Justice Department to ensure a just
resolution of these alleged violations of federal law.”
Ms. Rambo’s lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act, which
authorizes private parties to sue on behalf of the United States
and share in any recovery. The act authorizes the United States
to intervene in such a suit and take over the responsibility for
litigating it. The United States has informed the court that it
intends to file its own complaint in the action.
The case is being handled by the Civil Division of the
Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the
Eastern District of Washington, with the assistance of the
Department of Energy Office of Inspector General.
Ms. Rambo’s lawsuit is captioned U.S. ex rel. Rambo v. Fluor
Hanford, et al., cv-11-5037. The claims asserted in this case
are allegations only, and there has been no determination of
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.