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1998 News Releases


Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to CFC Theft

Release Date: 11/2/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Mr. Robin Elofson plead guilty Oct. 26 to stealing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) worth about $300,000.

        "Cases like this one highlight the importance of vigorous investigation and enforcement of environmental laws. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to risk the health and lives of others if money is involved. Prosecuting these individuals is vital if we are to protect the public health and our precious natural resources," Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

        Elofson was indicted for 30 counts of felony possession of stolen goods March 11, 1998. At the same time, his father, Doug Elofson, was indicted for 30 counts of felony theft and his brother, Randall Elofson, for 30 counts of felony possession of stolen goods. A hearing is scheduled Nov. 30, 1998, for the cases against Doug and Randall Elofson.

        Surveillance cameras recorded Doug Elofson stealing canisters of CFC from his employer's warehouse from January 1997 through October 1997. The two sons illegally sold the stolen canisters.

        CFC is one of the major causes of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere and its production and sale is strictly regulated in the United States. Along with 75 other countries, the U.S. pledged to cease CFC production by next year. Since 1990, anyone wishing to purchase CFC must met stringent certification requirements. Stricter regulations have created a black market for smugglers and unscruplous CFC dealers.

        East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Beau Brock is prosecuting the case. EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the Baton Rouge City Police Department investigated the case.