Metallurgist Who Falsified Navy Submarine Steel Test Data Pleads Guilty

| November 9, 2021

A Washington state metallurgist pled guilty this week to falsifying test results for steel used to produce U.S. Navy submarines for decades, the Justice Department said. The stunning fraud case spanned more than 30 years.

Fortunately no hulls have failed, but aside from putting sailors and submarines at risk, taxpayers are on the hook for additional maintenance costs for the entire submarine fleet.

David and Poetrooper send.

Metallurgist pleads guilty to fraud after falsifying steel-test results for Navy submarines

Tests were intended to show steel would not fail in submarines’ collisions or in certain ‘wartime scenarios’

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, Washington, 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.


Thomas faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine when she is sentenced in February. However, the Justice Department said it would recommend a prison term at the low end of whatever the court determines is the standard sentencing range in her case.

How in the blue-eyed world did this go undetected for so long? The defense is hanging on more of a crime of omission rather than greed. I fail to see the difference, given the potential effects of her fraud.

Fox News

Thanks, gentlemen.

Category: Crime, Guest Link, Navy

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Read this article earlier.
All I could think was:

“You put the life’s of many sailors at risk just because you didn’t think the testing was necessary…”

“Please feel free to go underwater many feet, steering blinding at speed and know that only a little bit of your steel separates you from the waiting arms of the ocean.”

“Sleep well…but know that there are many silent warriors doing what needs to be done so that you may sleep well at night…and you put their life’s at risk.”


Word! Had seen it myself, was waiting on the usual suspects to post it. Was trying to make up my mind if this skrunt was a sleeper agent or just a despicable douche. Hundreds of Sailors Lives and billions of taxpayer’s dollars at risk because she “felt” the test were wrong. PHUQUE HER!

“…less than the maximum sentence…” my Black Irish Ass. Here’s a novel thought; Do subs have a brig? Lock her up in one (of each class) and let her spend her prison time a’sea. No brigs on subs? Ok, put her skanky, thieving, opinionated ass in a sub that has been decommissioned and give it crush depth, or “war time conditions” test that at the levels she thought was “good enough”. SHE DID THIS SH^T FOR THIRTY (30) YEARS!


May the spirit of Rickover sodomize her with the barbed cock of Satan.


Squeal like a pig!


You said it better than I could.


A million dollar fine?! That is…just… something.
I damn well guarantee her salary collected while fudging these numbers was well north of that. Also, did this turd touch other products like bridge or building steel?

What a fking MONSTER.


Probably doing as she was instructed…


I saw in an article elsewhere she thought the standards were “stupid”. Stupid, indeed.

A Proud Infidel®™

“However, the Justice Department said it would recommend a prison term at the low end of whatever the court determines is the standard sentencing range in her case.”

Soonds to me like she knows and blows some of the right people, she has some choice dirt on the right people or a combination of both! Either way she needs to have the proverbial book thrown at her.


Why folk don’t trust gov’t bureaucrats in a nutshell.


Roh-Dog sideway glances at the big pharma-to-CDC/FDA and SEC-to-big bank pipelines.



It’s the ol’
“I sold a fleet of shitty motorcycles, but nobody died”
Imagine how Russia or China would act on the revelations.


There wouldn’t be any public accounting. Her ass would have been disappeared and she would have been fish food.


I’m with KoB – put her in a brig in a sub, in solitary for the maximum sentence, underwater for the majority of time.

Let her wonder if *this* sub is one of her fudges.

Allow the sailors to pipe in sound effects of creaking metal 24/7 for the duration.

If there were a way to remotely program the sub to go sit at near-crush depth (so no sailors lives were endangered) I’d be good with a decommissioned ship. Program it to resurface at the end of her sentence.

Her arrogance rivals Alec Baldwin’s or the (D)emonrats


Sound effects not necessary.
The Three Stooges have a depth gauge.
And they hit bottom.


What the hell ol’ Poe would like to know is why the Navy had no one reviewing/monitoring her tests and data?

We just trust greedy contractors’ results and assume they’re conducting legitimate testing?

If there were ever a time when that old saying about “ASSUME” comes into play, this is it…


It’s pretty common across all services. Government engineers no longer “bend metal”. They’re managers now. It’s all about pushing the risk onto the contractor.

Any government oversight is more about making sure the documents are signed and processed.


From an apparently knowledgeable commenter over at the WarZone:

“Outsourced castings like these are for non-pressure hull components like rope cleats or mast shrouds. Yes, ideally the part doesn’t fail at all, but it’s not going to sink the boat if it does fail because it’s made from out-of-spec steel. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to lie, but the Navy is much better about risk management than all the hubbub around this case implies.”

That’s comforting to hear and it could explain the sentencing leniency of the prosecution.

Still doesn’t do much to improve Poe’s view of Navy QC…


My dad was a sales rep for US Steel National Tube Division out of Boston.
The USS Nautilus was a big deal back then and when I landed an engineering
job with General Dynamics he gave me his tie clip depicting the Nautilus.
Turned out to be quite a gem with many old timers asking how I got it.

Glad to see this stuff didn’t happen on his watch. Rest in peace dad.


Place her in a torpedo tube and shoot.


I’ll settle for keelhauling at test depth.


“…recommend a prison term at the low end of whatever the court determines is the standard…”

Hmmm. Why? Very curious. 30 years of at least malfeasance, and perhaps much, much worse, appears to warrant more than a minimal sentence.


Pencil-whipping; the military-industrial way.


1948 movie, on this very topic.
WWII defective airplane parts
(faulty pistons for airplane engines).

Retired Mustang

Yet, another grave to piss on.




Another government contractor who can’t be bothered to show up to work and do the one hour of work expected of a civilian government employee each day.

Present company included of course. 😉


I’ve seen QAIs get disqualified and taken to mast for missing a checkmark on a QA form, but she INTENTIONALLY pencil-whips test data for 30 years, potentially endangering hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of my fellow submariners?

Yeah, fuck her and feed her fish heads.