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PROSECUTIONS IN TENNESSEE, COLORADO, LOUISIANA FOR HIRING UNTRAINED IMMIGRANTS TO STRIP ASBESTOS

Release Date: 12/15/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DEC. 15, 2000
PROSECUTIONS IN TENNESSEE, COLORADO, LOUISIANA FOR
HIRING UNTRAINED IMMIGRANTS TO STRIP ASBESTOS

Construction Personnel, Inc. (CPI), also known as Service Management, Inc., of Chattanooga, Tenn., and a number of CPI managers and employees pleaded guilty to various federal charges on Dec.8 for a scheme to bring unauthorized workers into the United States and employ them to remove asbestos without proper training. CPI pleaded guilty to various offenses in Chattanooga, Denver and Baton Rouge, including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, making false claims, and violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). CPI President Roy Weaver and CPI Vice-President Ron Goodwin, both of Chattanooga, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud, and violation of the INA. Tina Voiles of Chattanooga, and Maria Shumaker of Baton Rouge, La., pleaded guilty to violating the INA. CPI hired unauthorized immigrants, many of whom had false asbestos removal training certificates and false health certificates. Removal of asbestos without proper training can expose workers to airborne asbestos fibers. Inhaling asbestos is a known cause of lung cancer, a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” and mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. When sentenced, CPI faces up to five years of probation and/or a fine of up to $4 million; Weaver and Goodwin each face up to ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $750,000; and Voiles and Shumaker each face up to one year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $3,000 for each unauthorized immigrant that they assisted in unlawfully remaining in the United States. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The case is being prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorneys in Denver, Chattanooga and Baton Rouge.

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