The Texas company pleaded guilty to fraud and agreed to forfeit more than $250,000
Anahuac Transport Inc. has admitted to delivering potentially tainted rocket fuel to NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD) for rocket launches, according to the US Department of Justice.
The company’s representatives, Gary Monteau and Brant Charpiot, pleaded guilty to fraud on Wednesday and were banned from federal government contracting for two years.
As part of the plea deal, Anahuac Transport agreed to forfeit $251,401. The amount is comparable with the gross profits the company made from its fraudulent dealings.
Anahuac was contracted by NASA and the DOD to procure and transport fuel for the rocket launches from approximately 2012 through 2020.
The firm was required to ensure the tanker trailer it used did not previously contain chemicals that may have adverse reactions with the fuel. However, the tankers had in fact previously contained such substances, and the documents were falsified to claim that they had not.
Elon Musk’s Space Explorations Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) was among the firms receiving the potentially tainted fuel, the DOJ said. The SpaceX contract saw Musk’s firm deliver supplies for the International Space Station and with military payloads.
A sentencing date has been set for May 12. Anahuac could be hit with a $500,000 fine and serve up to five years of probation.