Stone & Webster Construction, a subsidiary of the Shaw Group, has agreed to pay the federal government $6.2 million to end a contract fraud investigation related to work at Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear plants in east Tennessee and Alabama. The U.S. attorney’s office in Knoxville, Tenn., announced the agreement and said in a release that it resulted from a “comprehensive, ongoing parallel criminal and civil investigation” started by TVA in 2004.
A search warrant was executed in 2006 on Stone & Webster’s premises at the Browns Ferry nuclear site in north Alabama. Stone & Webster has a 10-year, $1 billion dollar-plus contract with the nation’s largest public utility. Gentry Brann, a spokeswoman for Shaw, issued a statement in Baton Rouge, saying the contractor “admitted no wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement; rather Stone & Webster chose to amicably resolve the matter.”
“This was a broad-range settlement from which Stone & Webster received a significant payment from the TVA and was simply a matter of inaccurate record keeping,” the company statement said. “Once we realized the records were in error, we cooperated fully with the review and took corrective actions.
The government alleged that in order to support claims for safety-related performance fees from 2003 through 2006 the contractor provided false reports to TVA that “misclassified and understated the number and severity of employee injuries.” In addition to the settlement, Stone & Webster agreed to have the TVA Office of Inspector General monitor its future services.