The final defendant accused of federal credit card fraud at Hanford last year changed his plea to guilty Tuesday in Eastern Washington Federal District Court in Richland.
Paul Kempf, the former laboratory operations manager at Hanford's 222-S Lab, was accused of using a federal credit card, called a purchase card, or P-card, at Hanford, to divert $487,000 for his own use.
He is the last of seven defendants indicted in spring 2010 for defrauding the Department of Energy to plead guilty and be sentenced.
The federal government accuses him of using his P-card to charge purchases from his wife's company that never were delivered to the lab.
Kempf, 52, told Judge Robert Whaley he did direct purchases made with his Hanford P-card to a home business then owned by his wife and that some purchases were not made, but not to the extent alleged by the government.
The government believes that Kempf spent $50,000 of the money to renovate a 1966 Chevy Nova, $63,000 on auto and boat expenses, $105,000 in personal checks made out to his wife and $17,000 on home improvements, among other uses.
Among the terms of the plea agreement filed Tuesday, Kempf would be required to turn over to the federal government the Nova and any parts purchased for its restoration.
Additional decisions about restitution will be made when Kempf is sentenced, Whaley said.
Kempf pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud for his actions between Sept. 1, 2000, and Sept. 30, 2005. During those years, he was employed first by Fluor Hanford and then by CH2M Hill Hanford Group at the 222-S Lab.
Fictitious invoices were used to hide the fact that goods paid for with his P-card were not provided to the lab, said Jill Bolton, assistant U.S. attorney.
When Kempf was interviewed by DOE inspector general agents, he initially denied even knowing Anita Gust, according to the plea agreement. He later admitted they were married and that Gust owned and operated AMG Marketing out of their home.
When records were subpoenaed, checks from AMG Marketing that had been made out to an auto supply company were altered to make the company appear to be providing laboratory supplies rather than auto parts, Bolton said.
Gust, who earlier said she was divorcing Kempf, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced in April to a year and a day in prison. She also will be required to repay the $487,000 she admitted stealing.
The plea agreement signed by Kempf and his attorney, Bob Thompson, did not specify prison time. However, the prosecution did agree to a request by Kempf that his sentence be served consecutively with Gust's sentence so one of them could be home with their child.