Crime

2nd ex-Hanford employee indicted in P-card fraud

RICHLAND — Another former Hanford employee has been indicted in federal court for alleged federal credit card fraud.

In the newest case, an employee of a Kennewick business selling supplies to Hanford also has been indicted.

Gregory Detloff, a material coordinator at Hanford from November 2001 through November 2005, and Martin Perez, an employee of Kennewick Industrial and Electrical Supply from at least May 2000 through November 2005, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy and 15 counts of wire fraud.

Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Detloff allegedly met Perez at a restaurant for lunch in the spring of 2001. At the lunch, Detloff proposed that he would make purchases from Perez and KIE for supplies and materials for at least one Hanford contractor, according to the indictment filed in Eastern Washington U.S. District Court.

Perez agreed that as a salesman for KIE, he then would reorder those supplies from Detloff Industries, according to the indictment. Detloff's wife owned the company, which was a registered Hanford vendor. Court papers described it as a small volume business reselling electrical and plumbing supplies operated out of the Detloff family home.

The alleged scheme hid the fact that Detloff Industries was the supplier of supplies and materials ordered by Detloff in violation of conflict of interest regulations, according to the indictment. During training on the use of government credit cards, called purchase cards or P-cards at Hanford, Detloff signed conflict of interest forms acknowledging he could not place orders as a material coordinator with his wife's business.

Perez received a 3.5 percent commission on orders placed by Detloff, and the Detloffs received their net profit from all material and supplies sold by Detloff Industries through KIE, the indictment said.

Detloff made purchases for two Hanford contractors, Fluor Hanford and CH2M Hill Hanford Group, according to court documents. He worked for Fluor first and later CH2M Hill.

Both of those Department of Energy contracts have expired and the work to clean up central Hanford, supply services sitewide and manage the Hanford tank farms is being done by new contractors.

The indictment document lists 14 charges from April 2005 through June 2005 alleged to be part of the scheme to defraud. The purchases total $46,148.

A woman who answered the phone at the Detloff residence Thursday said that Detloff had no comment. Perez could not be reached for comment.

According to Herald files, Detloff and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2006. They listed debts of $1.1 million and assets of $457,000. In 1998 they announced the opening of Detloff Industrial.

Last month another former Hanford employee was indicted for alleged federal purchase card fraud when he worked for the same two contractors. Paul F. Kempf is accused of creating fraudulent invoices for purchases through a business based in his home, AMG Marketing, for laboratory supplies that never were delivered to Hanford.

Kempf and a woman believed to be his wife, Anita M. Gust, both have pleaded innocent.

Gust is being represented by attorney James Egan and Kempf is being represented by a public defender.

Last week all DOE Hanford employees were sent a memo saying the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating fraud related to Hanford purchase cards. They were told to preserve documents or other electronic evidence that might be needed in the investigation.

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

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