A federal judge says there needs to be three trials, not one, in the case of alleged timecard fraud at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Hanford, Wash.
In March, Boise Weekly reported that CH2M Hill had agreed to pay $18.5 million after 10 of its current or former upper managers and supervisors were indicted after being accused of timecard fraud.
And this morning's Tri-City Herald reports that Judge Edward Shea said the case is not as simple as claiming unworked time on a timecard.
"To the contrary, this case involves a pattern or practice of behavior that spanned nearly a decade, raising the complex issue of who had knowledge of, or aided and abetted, the alleged ongoing illegal activity," Shea wrote in a court order.
Shea ordered defendants to be split into three groups, with the first trial set in July, 2014; the second trial for September, 2014; and a third trial that has yet to be scheduled.
Shea wrote that a jury would find it challenging to consider large amounts of evidence for each defendant if it heard all the evidence in a single trial. Finding willing jury members to serve for four months from September 2014 through the holiday season would be difficult, he said.