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NEW YORK MAN CONVICTED OF ASBESTOS CRIMES

Release Date: 11/02/2000
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FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, NOV. 2, 2000

NEW YORK MAN CONVICTED OF ASBESTOS CRIMES

Joseph P. Thorn of Rensselaer, N.Y., former owner of A+ Environmental Services Inc., was convicted by a jury on Oct. 17 for illegal asbestos abatement and money laundering. Evidence presented at trial established that between 1995 and 1999 the defendant’s actions led to the illegal removal of asbestos at more than 1,000 facilities in central
and upstate New York. The facilities included elementary schools, churches, nursing homes, hospitals, state police barracks, the New York Legislative Office Building, and numerous other public buildings and private residences. Witnesses, including former employees, testified that Thorn directed operations that caused “snow storms” of visible airborne asbestos. Some workers were knowingly sent into airborne asbestos areas without being directed to wear respirators and others were sent in without being given sufficient replacement filters for respirators. Inhaling airborne asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. Thorn also conspired with accredited laboratories to falsify air monitoring at buildings where asbestos had been removed. The court ordered Thorn to forfeit $939,079.98 in funds that were utilized to promote his illegal activities. In addition, Thorn faces up to sixty-five years in prison, up to $4,128,000 in fines, or both, when sentenced. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division and the New York State Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse.

R-169 ###