Monday, November 08, 2010

FERC Consultant Admits to Stealing Tens of Millions of $$$ from U.S. Citizens but is still "On the Job and Shovel-Ready."

Dam at Saccarappa Falls, Presumpscot River, Westbrook, Maine c. 1900.

And the sun rises in the east. The Louis Berger Group, a New Jersey corporation hired by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Presumpscot River in 2001 has admitted to 'knowingly and systematically' defrauding the U.S. Government for work in Afghanistan and has agreed to pay a $70 million fine.

According to McClatchy News Service (formerly Knight Ridder), the $70 million fine "may" be the largest fine ever paid by a government contractor for defrauding U.S. citizens.

In 2001-2002, FERC hired the Louis Berger Group to prepare a scientific study of the benefits and impacts of removing the three lowermost dams on the Presumpscot River (Saccarappa, Little Falls and Mallison Falls). The study, which was a key part of FERC's decision to not order the removal of the dams, was so inept that FOSL and Friends of the Presumpscot River had to spend 100s of hours writing extensive comments to FERC trying to correct its factual errors.

Now the Louis Berger Group has admitted to overbilling and defrauding the U.S. Govt. of tens of millions of dollars related to engineering and construction contracts in Afghanistan. But not to worry, the company will still continue doing consulting work for the U.S. government. In Afghanistan. And elsewhere. Hopefully not on a river near you.

After all, being caught stealing tens of million dollars from your employer is not a fireable offense. So if you meet the Louis Berger Group during your travels and travails you might want to Run to the Hills.

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