Constructora Santiago II, Corp., Centro Cardiovascular and Hospital Del Maestro have agreed to pay $132,000, collectively, to the United States to resolve allegations that each falsely certified to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it was a small business entity to pay reduced nuclear material handling fees.
The settlement agreement was announced today by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein and Joseph A. McMillan, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, NRC, Office of Inspector General.
“Companies that falsely certify they are small businesses to obtain government benefits must be held accountable,” said Rosenstein.
To possess and handle radioactive materials, an entity has to obtain a license from the NRC and pay an annual fee. The NRC permits companies to pay a reduced fee if it qualifies as a small business.
To certify small business status, a business must “average gross receipts of $7 million or less over its last three completed fiscal years.” Each small business entity is required to complete a form certifying that it meets the criteria to qualify as a small business entity.
“The NRC OIG is committed to identifying anyone that will defraud the Commission regardless of their location. The NRC OIG is thankful to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Baltimore, MD, for their outstanding support in these investigations,” said McMillan.
According to the settlement agreements, Constructora Santiago II, Corp., Centro Cardiovascular and Hospital del Maestro falsely certified that each had gross receipts of less than $7 million when the government contends that all three companies had gross receipts that greatly exceeded the mentioned amount.
As a result of their false claims, each of the three entities paid reduced NRC license fees. Each entity has denied the allegations.