Crime

Ex-Hanford employee to repay $150,000 for fraud

RICHLAND — A former Hanford worker was ordered Wednesday to pay the Department of Energy $150,000 in restitution and serve 90 days of home confinement.

Gregory Detloff pleaded guilty in U.S. Eastern Washington District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as a materials coordinator at Hanford from November 2001 through November 2005. One count of witness tampering and 27 counts of wire fraud were dismissed.

Detloff arranged to have more than 280 Hanford orders he placed at Kennewick Industrial and Electrical Supply to be filled through Detloff Industrial, according to court documents. Detloff Industrial is a small wholesale supplier owned by his wife and operated out of their home, according to court documents.

Detloff paid for the purchases with a government credit card, called a purchase card or P-card at Hanford. He twice participated in P-card training and signed conflict of interest forms acknowledging he could not place orders with Detloff Industrial in his job as a materials coordinator.

"This is a difficult case," said Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson in Richland.

Detloff clearly has a great deal of support from family and community and has served as a role model in youth sports, she said.

"But this is a betrayal of trust," because he was doing work for the federal government, she said.

She sentenced Detloff to three years probation, including three months home detention with electronic monitoring, for which he must pay part or all of the cost. During home detention he may leave only for medical, court or religious reasons.

He also is required to perform 240 hours of community service.

Having a felony conviction will be a penalty in itself, the judge said, and issued no fine other than a required $100 assessment, plus restitution.

Detloff asked in court documents that he be given a sentence that would allow him to continue to support his family.

"I have been forced out of and fired from several jobs because of my fraudulently purchasing products for Hanford from my own company," he said in court documents. He lost his Fluor Hanford job when his purchases were discovered, lost a Babcock Services Expediter job because of the investigation and then lost his job at URS at the Umatilla ChemicalDepot because of the indictment, according to court documents.

He now is working with his wife delivering newspapers as a contractor with the Tri-City Herald and is starting a home-based dog grooming business.

More than a dozen people came to court to support Detloff, and he submitted 21 letters testifying to his good character from family, friends, neighbors and others.

Detloff comes from a family involved in law enforcement, said his attorney, Jim Egan, and served as a Marine in Iraq.

Neighbors described his generous help when they were repairing cars or making home and yard improvements, including installing a new light fixture and putting in a doggie door for a widow.

Most of the letters described the many hours he has spent as a youth baseball coach, plus serving as a tournament director and a maintenance director for Kennewick American Youth Baseball.

"When you are not doing something right, some coaches will scream at you, but Greg talks nicely and takes time to explain what you are doing wrong," wrote one of the children he coached.

"From the letters I've read, I'm confident you will pull through this," Judge Peterson said.

Detloff was one of seven people indicted last spring in different schemes that allegedly used Hanford P-cards to defraud DOE. He is the fourth to be sentenced. Two others have received home detention and the third was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

-- Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; More Hanford news at hanfordnews.com.

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