Savannah River subcontractor settles fraud allegations for $302,500

by Ben Vernia | November 19th, 2022

On November 18, the Department of Justice announced that Ohio-based Wise Services, Inc., had agreed to pay over $300,000 (in an ability-to-pay based settlement) to resolve allegations that it submitted claims for materials that did not exist. According to DOJ’s press release:

Wise Services Inc. (Wise), located in Dayton, Ohio, has agreed to pay $302,500 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by causing the submission of false and fraudulent invoices for non-existent materials to the Department of Energy (DOE) and paying improper kickbacks. The settlement amount was negotiated based on Wise’s lack of ability to pay.

Wise was a subcontractor at the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the DOE Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. The United States alleged that Wise knowingly submitted to the prime contractor — MOX Services LLC, formerly known as CB&I AREVA MOX Services LLC (MOX) — hundreds of invoices charging millions of dollars for materials that did not exist. MOX presented those false invoices to DOE. The United States also alleged that Wise employees paid kickbacks to MOX employees involved in the scheme.

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The civil settlement includes the resolution of claims against Wise brought under the False Claims Act by the United States in the case captioned United States v. CB&I AREVA MOX Services LLC and Wise Services Inc., No. 19-cv-444 (D.S.C.). MOX paid $10 million in a settlement with the government earlier this year for its participation in the scheme.

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The case apparently arose from a government investigation, and not a whistleblower’s lawsuit.

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