The final defendant in a multiyear investigation of timecard fraud at Hanford was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Richland to pay a fine of $7,500.
Like most of the other defendants in the related cases, Glenda Davis will not serve jail or prison time.
The prosecution did not ask U.S. Judge Edward Shea for a prison sentence for Davis, a radiological control supervisor for former Hanford tank farm contractor CH2M Hill Hanford Group, according to court documents.
Davis had been scheduled to go to trial with another radiological control supervisor, but changed her plea to guilty and became a cooperating witness for the federal government.
Prosecutors had requested a fine of $19,893 to cover the estimated cost to the federal government of hours falsely claimed by workers she and a fellow supervisor approved from Aug. 13, 2008, through Oct. 29, 2008. The loss was based on global positioning system surveillance of hourly workers.
The amount included timecards approved by another supervisor. Still, prosecutors said it still was highly conservative because it focused on only five hourly workers who pleaded guilty rather than all nine, and because it covered just two months during a nine-year conspiracy.
Davis approved inflated timecards, but as a supervisor did not receive any money directly from the conspiracy to falsifying timecards, prosecutors said.
Radiological control technicians, including those supervised by Davis, would be offered overtime in eight-hour shifts to induce them to agree to work the shifts. When the shifts were completed, sometimes hours early, workers would go home but claim a full eight hours of work on their timecards.
CH2M Hill was able to earn bonuses because of work accomplished by calling out overtime in eight hour shifts, but Davis did not receive any of that money, said her attorney, James Egan.
Davis was sentenced to pay the $7,500 as a fine rather than restitution because the federal government already has collected money from CH2M Hill.
CH2M Hill agreed to pay $18.5 million to the federal government in 2013 to settle civil and criminal allegations of defrauding taxpayers through widespread timecard fraud at Hanford when it held the tank farm contract from fall 1999 to fall 2008.
Davis’ cooperation with the prosecution started well before she entered a plea agreement in June 2014, Egan said.
She was ostracized by all of her friends and co-workers at Hanford who feared they would be pulled into the prosecution or that Davis was violating their confidence, Egan said.
She was shunned starting in May 2008 when she received an anonymous message that some of her workers had left Hanford before their shift had ended, Egan said. She called her employees to tell them to return to the tank farm area and correct timecards that claimed unworked hours.
Her attempts to get her workers to submit correct time was rarely supported by CH2M Hill, her co-workers, other supervisors or the unions, Egan said.
“On two occasions, Glenda stopped approving timecards because her assigned duties did not give her the opportunity to know which of her workers had worked what hours,” Egan said in court documents.
“She started approving timecards again after stopping these two times because she was told by management that she would not get in trouble and that her approval was necessary,” he said.
She did not understand that the federal government was reimbursing CH2M Hill for labor costs, believing that CH2M Hill was bearing the costs of false time cards because wages were paid with company checks, Egan said.
Davis was fired after pleading guilty and has been told she can never work for a federal project again.
“This is in sharp contrast to all of the people who were either found not guilty by the jury or whose cases were dismissed by the government or who in fact worked on the Hanford site for the last 20 years, continuing participating in the fraud environment,” Egan said in court documents.
Davis believes the wrong people were indicted, he said.
“The failure to prosecute upper management allows them to do it all over again,” he said. “The company was fined $18.9 million, a sum that they can cheat the government out of on the next contract.”
Egan asked for no incarceration and no fine for his client.
None of the nine hourly workers who pleaded guilty received jail or prison time. They were sentenced to pay fines of up to $165,000.
Of the nine managers and supervisors indicted with Davis, just one received a sentence that included incarceration — for a total of 30 days plus three months home detention.
Four were acquitted by a jury and four others had criminal charges dropped after they agreed to pay a civil penalty.