Deleon Added to Fugitives Web Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added Albania Deleon, former president of Massachusetts' largest asbestos removal training school, to its fugitives Web site. Deleon failed to appear for her sentencing on March 23 at the Federal District Court, District of Massachusetts, and a warrant has been issued for her arrest, according to an April 2 press release.

Last November, a federal jury convicted Deleon, a resident of Andover, Mass., of selling certificates from Environmental Compliance Training of Metheun, Mass., to hundreds of undocumented immigrants who had not taken the mandatory training course. The individuals who purchased the training certificates without the training filed them with the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety so they could work in the asbestos removal industry. Hundreds of these individuals were sent to asbestos demolition sites in Massachusetts and other New England states.

Deleon sent the individuals to perform removal work at job sites through her temporary employment agency that specialized in asbestos demolition and paid them "under the table" for their work. She did not report these employees to the IRS and workers compensation organizations, allowing her to save more than $1 million dollars in tax and insurance payments. The company shut down in May 2007.

Last November, a federal jury convicted Deleon on 28 felony counts, including one count of conspiracy in making false statements, encouraging illegal aliens to reside in the United States, and hiring illegal aliens; five counts of making false statements; 16 counts of procuring false payroll tax returns, and six counts of mail fraud. Evidence presented at trial indicated that more than half of the individuals receiving certificates had not taken the necessary training, posing health risks to the individuals and to those near the asbestos work sites.

Deleon is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from the Dominican Republic. Anyone seeing her should contact the EPA Fugitives Web site, www.epa.gov/fugitives, or contact the EPA Criminal Investigation Division office in Boston at 617.918.2300.

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