Ex-Hanford supervisor pleads guilty in timecard fraud case

A former radiological control supervisor at the Hanford tank farms changed her plea to guilty Friday in a case accusing her and nine others of aiding timecard fraud.

Glenda Michele Davis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and the U.S. Attorney's Office agreed to ask for no more than four months in prison, three years probation and a fine of no more than $19,894 at her sentencing.

The four months is at the low end of a sentencing range of four to 10 months.

She also agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, if requested, including in grand jury proceedings and trials for other defendants.

Other counts would be dropped. They include six counts of wire fraud, one count of major fraud against the United States, four counts of submission of false claims and three counts of violation of the Anti-Kickback Act. The government also would not seek to claim any property that Davis might have gained through timecard fraud.

Davis was scheduled for trial July 9 in federal court along with another former radiological control supervisor, Stephanie Livesey.

It is the first of three trials scheduled for 10 defendants who had pleaded innocent to charges related to timecard fraud at the Hanford tank farms.

Workers for the former Hanford tank farm contractor, CH2M Hill Hanford Group, routinely submitted timecards claiming payment for overtime they did not work, according to the plea agreement.

Davis and Livesey approved the timecards of five radiological control technicians who claimed 250 work hours, including overtime, for work they did not perform between Aug. 13, 2008, and Oct. 29, 2008, according to the plea agreement.

Global positioning system surveillance showed the workers were not at Hanford during those hours.

Overtime for radiological control technicians was voluntary. To get them to agree to evening and night overtime work, CH2M Hill offered shifts to radiological control technicians in eight-hour blocks, even though the work often could be done in less time, according to court documents. However, workers would claim a full eight hours of overtime worked on their timecards.

When Davis and Livesey would leave work at the end of the day shift, they would repeatedly say, "Are you still here?" or "Don't pass me on the way home" to signal workers they could leave prior to the end of their scheduled overtime shift, according to court documents.

Timecard fraud also was committed on regular shifts, according to court documents. A Voluntary Protection Program report warned upper management and direct supervisors that a steady stream of workers began leaving work at 2:30 p.m. on shifts that should have lasted until 4:30 p.m.

Davis is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Livesey's attorney, Bob Thompson, has asked that her July 9 trial be postponed because of concerns about whether Livesey will be able to help with her defense after the unexpected death of her son last month.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said it is sympathetic to Livesey's loss but is concerned about the impact to the schedule of the trials for the remaining defendants.

A second trial is planned in December for five former Hanford workers who supervised hourly workers on specific jobs, but did not usually approve timecards. Their trial will focus on their role in obtaining authorized overtime for hourly workers from upper managers, according to court documents.

The last group to face trial in February will be three former upper-level managers.

On May 21 the U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern Washington filed a new indictment against the 10 defendants, which no longer included counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to submit false claims and document alteration against any of the defendants.

It added a notice of possible forfeiture of any property the defendants gained linked to alleged timecard fraud and kept 21 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, major fraud against the United Sates, submission of false claims and Anti-Kickback Act violations against various defendants.

Previously, eight radiological control technicians and a lead radiological control technician, who assigned overtime, pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the timecard scheme.