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Fluor Settles Hanford False Claims Case for $1.1 Million

April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Fluor Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. engineering and construction company, agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit alleging it improperly billed the U.S. Energy Department for marketing costs.

The company denied wrongdoing and settled the case to avoid the expense and distraction of litigation, Flour said in a statement today. The lawsuit alleged that funds from an Energy Department contract were used to pay for lobbying activities that sought more federal money.

The U.S. joined a false claims lawsuit in federal court in Spokane, Washington, accusing Fluor and Fluor Hanford Inc. of paying two lobbying companies more than $650,000 with money meant to train emergency personal at the Energy Department’s Hanford nuclear site.

No false claims were made and no lobbying or other laws were broken, Fluor said. The government contract obligated the company to encourage other agencies to use the training facility and the use of consultants to contact other agencies to market the site was overseen by ranking Energy Department officials, the company said.

The case is U.S. ex rel. Rambo v. Fluor Hanford LLC, 11-cv-05037, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington (Spokane).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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