A former waste-company executive was reportedly sentenced to serve 50 months in prison for fraud arising from his participation in a multimilliondollar kickback scheme involving contracts for a New Jersey CERCL A site and for impeding a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) investigation. United States v. Griffiths, No. 09-506 (D.N.J. sentenced 9/12/11). In addition to the prison sentence, defendant, a Canadian national, was assessed a $15,000 criminal fine and ordered to pay $4.6 million in restitution.
His former company, Canada-based Bennett Environmental Inc., treats and disposes of contaminated soil. The defendant was responsible for overseeing the sale of contracts for treatment at the Federal Creosote CERCL A site located in Manville, New Jersey. He pleaded guilty in July 2009 to defrauding EP A by inflating the prices he charged to a prime contractor and providing kickbacks to the contractor’s employees from 2001 until 2004. Defendant also laundered approximately $207,000 of the kickback proceeds and submitted false invoices for the disposal of approximately 20,000 tons of soil. In addition, the defendant impeded an SEC investigation and committed perjury during an SEC proceeding.
Three companies and 10 individuals have been charged as part of the investigation into the multimillion-dollar kickback scheme. Defendants have been sentenced to pay more than $6 million in criminal fines and restitution, and five individuals have been sentenced to prison, according to reports. See Law360 and Department of Justice News Release, September 12, 2011.