Search Site

Bechtel Corp. and Aecom Pay $58 Million to Settle Overcharging Allegations

Bechtel Corp. and a subcontractor, Aecom, paid $58 million to settle claims of billing the Department of Energy for fraudulent labor expenses.

The two companies have been working together on the vitrification plant at Hanford in Washington, a $17 billion venture. The lawsuit dates back to 2017, and was filed by several current or former employees at the Hanford site who claimed they were retaliated against after reporting the issues with raising the issues with time-charging.

Case background

The Department of Justice joined in the lawsuit originally filed by the four employees, and it was unsealed this fall.

According to the lawsuit, the two companies routinely and knowingly overcharged the Department of Energy for time even when union construction workers did not have any work to do, including electricians, pipefitters and various other skilled workers. This conduct occurred between 2009 and 2019.

The construction workers at the Hanford site are not always guaranteed a full day’s work, but must be paid for at least two hours on any days on which they are scheduled to work. The lack of work they had that led to the overcharging was a result of a failure on the part of management to schedule enough work to keep them busy. But even when they were idle, the management still billed the Department of Energy.

The companies have been working on the vitrification plant since 2002, and it is scheduled to begin operation by the end of 2023. It will be turning radioactive waste held in underground tanks at the site into more stable gases that can be disposed.

If you are aware of any fraudulent activity committed by your company or organization, you have the right to federal protections when you blow the whistle on that activity. For more information about your legal options, contact an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group.

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.