HPM Corporation and owners accept responsibility

HPM Corporation and Owners Accept Responsibility and Agree to Pay Nearly $3 Million in Restitution and Penalties for Fraudulent Covid-19 Relief Loan

Company Enters into 3-Year Deferred Prosecution Agreement and False Claims Act Settlement to Resolve Criminal and Civil Liability; Individual owners agree to pay additional $250,000 fine to resolve individual liability under misrepresentation law

Richland, WN (STL.News) Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, today announced that HPM Corporation (HPMC) and its owners have agreed to pay $2,939,400 in restitution and penalties and assume additional liabilities to resolve HPMC’s criminal and civil liability in connection with a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The announced settlement also resolves the individual liability under the False Claims Act of HPMC owners and officers, Holly and Grover Cleveland Mooers, who agreed to pay an additional $250,000 fine from their own funds as part of the settlement.

HPMC is a Department of Energy (DOE) contractor that provides occupational health services to DOE employees and contractors at the DOE’s Hanford site. In April 2020, HPMC applied for and received a $1,344,700 PPP loan. Congress created the PPP in March 2020 as part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, to provide funding to small businesses to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for local small businesses. . PPP loans were fully guaranteed by the United States, and the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) may give a small business borrower a rebate as long as the loan proceeds were used for payroll and other eligible expenses.

As part of the Global Criminal and Civil Settlement, HPMC and the Mooers admitted that they knowingly provided materially false statements to the SBA in support of HPMC’s request for cancellation of the PPP by falsely stating that the PPP loan proceeds had been used for payroll and other eligible expenses when they were not. HPMC and the Mooers further admitted that, through materially false statements, they induced the SBA to forgive the loan. Finally, HPMC and the Mooers admitted that after causing the SBA to grant loan forgiveness based on these material misrepresentations, the Mooers transferred the entire amount of the loan from an HPMC business account to the Mooers’ personal account. .

As part of the global resolution, HPMC agreed to pay $2,689,400 in restitution and penalties, as well as a 3-year probationary period after filing and while federal criminal charges are deferred in which it can no longer commit other criminal or civil offences. , and must immediately report any credible evidence of such violations to the United States. Additionally, the Mooers have agreed to pay an additional civil penalty of $250,000, which must come from their personal funds and cannot come from HPMC funds. Grover Cleveland Mooers also agreed to step down as governor of HPMC and not serve as a primary employee, manager, or advisor to HPMC during the three-year deferral period. HPMC has also agreed, at its own expense, to retain the services of an independent accounting or auditing firm to perform an independent audit of HPMC’s accounting practices with respect to expenses, distributions, dividends, salaries and the expenses of the Mooers or any other HPMC officers, owners or shareholders.

US Attorney Waldref said, “COVID relief funding is a precious and limited resource. These funds were intended to help local small businesses and keep eastern Washington communities safe and strong, not to line the pockets of millionaire homeowners. I especially want to acknowledge the outstanding investigative work done by the DOE’s Office of Inspector General and the SBA’s Office of Inspector General. Our office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute fraud against COVID relief funding and hold accountable individuals and businesses who misuse this funding.

“Lying to gain access to SBA pandemic response programs is not without consequence,” said SBA OIG Western Region Special Agent in Charge Weston King. “Our office will aggressively seek out evidence of wrongdoing and bring those responsible to justice. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.

“Stealing money from pandemic relief funds is wrong,” said Teri L. Donaldson, Department of Energy Inspector General. “Anyone engaging in COVID fraud should think twice. The federal law enforcement community actively investigates and prosecutes pandemic relief fraud, and will not hesitate to seek significant criminal and civil penalties.

This matter was investigated as part of the US Attorney’s Office COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force, an interagency team of federal law enforcement agencies dedicated to combating COVID relief fraud in eastern Washington. The HPMC matter was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, the Richland Field Office of the DOE OIG, and the Seattle Field Office of the SBA OIG. Special Assistant United States Counsel Frieda K. Zimmerman and Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter and Tyler HL Tornabene of the Eastern District of Washington handled this case on behalf of the United States.


Luisa D. Fuller