published Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Contractor guilty of fraud for hiding injuries at TVA nuke plants

A former safety manager for TVA’s nuclear program has been found guilty of eight counts of fraud in Chattanooga’s federal court.

Walter Cardin, 55, of Metairie, La., could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each count, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

During a 12-day trial in U.S. District Court, jurors heard evidence that Cardin, as safety manager for the Shaw Group (formerly Stone & Webster Construction), provided false and misleading information about injuries at the Browns Ferry, Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants.

The Shaw Group had a contract with TVA for maintenance and other work at all three plants.

Cardin falsified injury rates at the plants between 2004 and 2006 so the Shaw Group could collect safety bonuses worth more than $2.5 million from TVA, the news release stated.

The jury heard evidence of more than 80 injuries, including broken bones, torn ligaments, hernias, lacerations and shoulder, back and knee injuries that were not properly recorded by Cardin.

The Shaw Group in 2008 repaid twice the amount of the bonuses, the release stated.

Sentencing is set for 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.

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