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PA ENFORCEMENT WRAP UP

Release Date: 11/2/96
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PA ENFORCEMENT WRAP UP

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 1996

E N F O R C E M E N T W R A P - U P

FLORIDA MAN SENTENCED IN FREON SMUGGLING CASE

On Oct. 25, Jose Diaz of Naples, Fla., was sentenced to 39 months in prison and fined $10,000 in connection with a smuggling scheme that caused over 123 separate diversions of CFC-12, a refrigerant commonly known as freon, into the American domestic market. In addition, the court ordered three years of supervised release after the completion of the prison sentence and retained jurisdiction to order restitution of the excise taxes lost as the result of the scheme. The Internal Revenue Service will determine the portion of the $37 million in evaded excise taxes which is chargeable to Diaz. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Customs Service and the IRS.

AUTO SUPPLY STORE OWNER INDICTED FOR DUMPING HAZARDOUS WASTE

On Oct. 24, Raymond Feldman of St. Louis, Mo., was indicted on four felony counts of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The indictment alleges that between May 1, 1996 and June 7, Feldman hired two individuals to take 55-gallon drums of hazardous paint wastes that were stored without proper permits at Ray's Automotive Supply and dispose of them. The two individuals dumped the drums on the banks of the Mississippi River near the McKinley Bridge. The waste contained lead and was ignitable. Approximately 30 drums were transported each week. If convicted, Feldman faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $1 million. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the St. Louis Trash Task Force.

MAN INDICTED FOR SELLING FALSE ASBESTOS REMOVAL CERTIFICATES

On Oct. 22, Bogdan R. Mucha was indicted on two counts of mail fraud for allegedly selling three asbestos removal accreditation certificates to a Special Agent of EPA. Mucha owned and operated the Midwest Institute of Asbestos in Chicago, Ill. The Institute was approved in 1991 to provide training and issue accreditation certificates to asbestos abatement workers, supervisors and contractors. The indictment alleges that Mucha used the U.S. mail on two occasions to sell certificates to the agent, even though the agent had not received asbestos abatement training from the Institute. If convicted, Mucha faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division.

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