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Environmental Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in environmental programs and policies. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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March 22, 2019

A man in Colorado plead guilty to his role in a $7.2 million tax credit fraud scheme that ran from 2010 to 2013. To take advantage of a federal program that encourages the production and use of renewable fuels, Matthew Taylor and co-conspirators created a fake fuel production company, Shintan Inc., and filed false claims for tax credits with the IRS, even though their company produced no qualifying fuels. Altogether, their scheme netted them a total of $7.2 million, with $4.5 million going to Taylor. DOJ

Maryland State Senate Introduces a Bill to Establish a Natural Resources Whistleblower Program

Posted  02/15/19
Hands holding miniaturized tree with wildlife
In a time of increasing concern about climate change and environmental destruction, one state is ramping up efforts to conserve natural resources and encourage everyday citizens to join the fight. Just last week, the Maryland State Senate introduced a bill to establish a Natural Resources Whistleblower Program to assist enforcement activities related to the protection of state parks, water, forests, and land. The...

WATCH THIS SPACE: DOJ and DOE Call Out Lockheed Martin for Self-Dealing at Hanford Plutonium Site

Posted  02/15/19
By Jessica T. Moore
Worker in HazMat suit standing in front of pile of barrels in rain
The nation’s largest toxic cleanup site has suffered another setback, this time not in the cleanup itself but in alleged self-dealing, corruption, kickbacks, and lies, costing taxpayers over $60M, according to a complaint filed by DOJ against Mission Support Alliance, Lockheed Martin Services (and a subsidiary), and Jorge Francisco Armijo. The Hanford Nuclear Site in central Washington state made plutonium for...

February 8, 2019

In connection with alleged fraud on a multi-billion dollar Department of Energy contract, the United States has filed a False Claims Act complaint against Mission Support Alliance LLC (MSA), Lockheed Martin Services Inc. (LMSI), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMC) and Jorge Francisco Armijo, currently VP of LMC but formerly president of MSA. The complaint alleges that defendant LMSI violated the FCA by submitting false statements about its profits to order to inflate its billing rate. The complaint also alleged that, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Act, defendant LMC paid Armijo and other MSA executives more than $1 million in order to win a $232 million subcontract to clean up the Hanford nuclear waste site in Washington State. DOJ; USAO EDWA

January 30, 2019

Sunoco Pipeline L.P. will pay the United States $5 million and pay Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) $436,274 to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and state environmental laws by Sunoco and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company stemming from three crude oil spills in 2013, 2014, and 2015, in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Additionally, Sunoco agreed to take actions to prevent future spills by identifying and remediating the types of problems that caused the prior spills. This includes performing pipeline inspections and repairing pipeline defects that could lead to future spills. Sunoco is also required to take steps to prevent and detect corrosion in pipeline segments that Sunoco is no longer using. Mid-Valley, the owner of the pipeline that spilled oil in Louisiana, is responsible, along with Sunoco, for payment of the civil penalties and state costs relating to the Louisiana spill. DOJ

January 28, 2019

A producer of fish oil and fishmeal products, Omega Protein Corp., has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that when the company applied for a $10 million federal loan, it falsely certified that it was complying with federal environmental laws when, in fact, it was knowingly violating the Clean Water Act by discharging oil into U.S. waters. In 2013, the company pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the CWA.   The civil settlement arises from a False Claim Act case filed by a former employee of Omega, Keland O. Harrison, who will receive $200,000 of the settlement proceeds.  DOJ

January 28, 2019

P.H. Glatfelter Company will pay $20.5 million to reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency for past costs and natural resource damages and future government costs of overseeing one of the nation’s largest cleanup projects at Wisconsin’s Lower Fox River and Green Bay Site. Glatfelter also agreed to take on responsibility for long-term monitoring and maintenance activities required by the EPA. The cleanup work will reduce the risks to humans and wildlife posed by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in bottom sediment of the Fox River and Green Bay. Paper companies like Glatfelter and Georgia-Pacific contaminated the sediment when they made and recycled a particular type of PCB-containing “carbonless” copy paper. DOJ

Top Ten Environmental Fraud Settlements for 2018

Posted  01/24/19
Smooth river flowing through wide green valley
Our environment, natural resources, energy resources, and wildlife are subject to numerous laws and government programs that can give rise to fraudulent activity. Here is our look-back at the top 10 environmental fraud recoveries for 2018. Our 2016 and 2017 lists are also available on the Whistleblower Insider blog.
  1. International Automated Systems and RaPower-3 – In October 2018, a federal court in Utah...

January 10, 2019

Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay over $500 million in fines and mitigation costs to settle civil claims by the U.S. and numerous states that it violated environmental and consumer protection laws by installing software and equipment in 100,000 diesel automobiles in order to circumvent emissions testing requirements.  The "defeat devices" caused Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s to be within legal limits during emissions testing, but to exceed limits during ordinary operation.  The company will also implement a recall program to repair the non-compliant vehicles. DOJ; CA

November 27, 2018

Greek shipping companies Avin International LTD and Nicos I.V. Special Maritime Enterprises will pay a $4 million criminal fine for their actions in discharging oil in the ports of Houston and Port Arthur in violation of the Clean Water Act.  The discharges were not recorded in oil record books as required under MARPOL and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.  DOJ
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