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A Washington woman is sentenced to 2.5 years for falsifying Navy sub-part test results.

Since then, the Navy has spent $14 million and 50,000 hours engineering to evaluate the parts and the risk to the submarines.

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A Washington woman is sentenced to 2.5 years for falsifying Navy sub-part test results.

Monday's sentence was for a mineral expert who falsified test results to determine the strength and toughness steel used in parts of U.S. construction. She will spend 2.5 years prison. Federal prosecutors stated that Navy submarines have been in use for decades, putting sailors and military operations at grave risk.

Elaine Thomas, 67-year-old from Auburn, Washington was also fined $50,000 in connection to the scheme. According to the Justice Department, Thomas was the director for metallurgy at Bradken Inc., Tacoma's largest supplier of steel casings used by contractors to make submarine hulls.

Since then, the Navy has spent $14 million and 50,000 hours engineering to evaluate the parts and the risk to the submarines.

Prosecutors claimed that Thomas falsified test results from 1985 to 2017 for 240 steel productions. This was approximately half of the castings made for the Navy.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown stated that Elaine Thomas had betrayed the trust and placed sailors and military operations in danger for 32 years. "She falsely claimed that the steel Bradken produced met crucial specifications- standards designed to protect our military personnel- and allowed inferior Steel to be sent to Navy subs in half of the orders she reviewed."

According to the DOJ, the tests were necessary to verify that the steel meets standards for safety and does not fail in "certain circumstances" such as collisions.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro stated that "Our sailors, Marines and marines depend on high-quality products and services from contractors to safely meet the worldwide mission of the Department of the Navy." "We will insist that all contractors meet these high standards."

Thomas pleaded guilty in November to fraud. U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle described Thomas's actions in Tacoma as a "crime based on pride and ego" that she believed was better than the standard-setting judges.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence that Bradken's top management knew about the falsifications. A lab worker noticed suspicious results from a test and alerted the company. The Navy was notified. Bradken incorrectly suggested that the results weren't fraudulent, Stars and Stripes reported.

Prosecutors said that this hindered Navy's investigation into the extent of the problem.

Thomas was fired following the discovery of discrepancies. According to the news outlet, she wrote a letter to the court expressing her disgust at what she did.


 

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