Hanford contractor to pay nearly $3 million in loan fraud case | Washington News

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — A Hanford contractor and his owners will pay nearly $3 million after being charged with fraud related to a loan from a federal program to help small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These funds were intended to help local small businesses and keep communities across Eastern Washington safe and strong, not to line the pockets of millionaire homeowners,” U.S. attorney Vanessa Waldref said in a statement. .

HPM Corp., the occupational health contractor at the Hanford nuclear site, received a loan of just over $1.3 million in 2020 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act , reported the Tri-City Herald.

A year later, the US Small Business Administration forgave the original loan and about $13,500 in interest.

An investigation by the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General found that the loan money was not spent by the contractor but was transferred in 2021 to the personal checking account of Hollie Mooers, founder and president of HPMC, and her husband, Grover Cleveland Mooers. .

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“Stealing money from pandemic relief funds is wrong,” Teri Donaldson, DOE inspector general, said in a statement late Thursday.

HPMC could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday evening.

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