N.J. Waste Facility Pleads Guilty to Dumping in Upstate New York

The Justice Department says Eagle Recycling defrauded the United States and violated clean water and wire fraud laws.

Lieze Associates, dba Eagle Recycling of New Jersey, pleaded guilty recently in federal court in Utica, N.Y., for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act and to defraud the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the U.S. Justice Department Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Eagle Recycling pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Hurd for the Northern District of New York to one criminal felony count for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on filling wetlands and committing wire fraud to conduct that filling. According to the charges, Eagle Recycling and other co-conspirators, engaged in a multi-year scheme to illegally dump 8,100 tons of pulverized construction and demolition debris that was processed at Eagle Recycling’s North Bergen, N.J., solid waste management facility and then transported to a farmer’s property in Frankfort, N.Y.

According to court documents, Eagle Recycling and other conspirators concealed the illegal dumping by fabricating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit and forged the name of a DEC official on the fraudulent permit.

Eagle Recycling admitted in the plea agreement that once DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency learned of the illegal dumping, the company began a systematic pattern of document concealment, alteration, and destruction including, but not limited to, destroying documents during the execution of a federal search warrant, secreting documents responsive to grand jury subpoenas, falsifying certifications submitted to the grand jury, and falsifying and submitting environmental sampling to the EPA.

As part of the plea agreement, Eagle Recycling will pay a criminal fine of $500,000, implement an environmental compliance plan at its North Bergen facility, and pay restitution, which potentially includes clean-up costs at the Frankfort, N.Y., site.

This plea is related to the plea of Jonathan Deck who pleaded guilty to similar conspiracy charges in late-2009. Sentencing has been scheduled for Sept. 9.

Source: Department of Justice

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