SEATTLE — A metallurgist in Washington state pleaded guilty to fraud Monday after she spent decades faking the results of strength tests on steel that was being used to make U.S. Navy submarines.
Elaine Marie Thomas, 67, of Auburn, Wash., was the director of metallurgy at a foundry in Tacoma that supplied steel castings used by Navy contractors Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding to make submarine hulls.
From 1985 through 2017, Thomas falsified the results of strength and toughness tests for at least 240 productions of steel — about half the steel the foundry produced for the Navy, according to her plea agreement, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. The tests were intended to show that the steel would not fail in a collision or in certain “wartime scenarios,” the Justice Department said.
There was no allegation that any submarine hulls failed, but authorities said the Navy had incurred increased costs and maintenance to ensure they remain seaworthy. The government did not disclose which subs were affected.
Read more at Stripes