A Texas tanker company has been ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after admitting to falsifying records prior to hauling rocket fuel for NASA.
Anahuac Transport Inc. has been ordered to forfeit $251,401 in gross proceeds in addition to paying a fine of $275,000, according to a July 14 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. The company has also been ordered to serve three years probation.
On February 23, 2022, Anahuac company representatives Gary Monteau and Brant Charpiot “admitted to falsifying … records and delivering potentially tainted rocket fuel for NASA and Department of Defense (DOD) rocket launches. “
The news release details the allegations against Anahuac:
NASA and DOD entered into contracts with various companies, including Space Explorations Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), to launch rockets with supplies for the International Space Station and with military payloads.
These companies procured fuel for the rocket launches and contracted for transportation of the fuel to the launch sites. Anahuac was in the business of hauling chemicals in tanker trailers. From approximately 2012 through 2020, NASA and DOD subcontracted Anahuac to transport the rocket fuel.
To prevent contamination, Anahuac was required to ensure the tanker trailer they used did not previously contain certain chemicals that may have adverse reactions with the fuel. However, Anahuac intentionally falsified its documents, claiming it had not previously hauled incompatible chemicals with its tanker trailers. In fact, it had.
Anahuac transported the rocket fuel with its contaminated trailers. As a result, NASA used the fuel for rocket launches.
Monteau, Charpiot and Anahuac have agreed to be banned from federal government contracting for two years.