Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

FORMER EXECUTIVE AT SOIL TREATMENT COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING EPA

On December 18, 2008, Zul Tejpar, a former employee at Bennett Environmental Industries (“BEI”), a Canadian soil treatment company, pled guilty for defrauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) at the EPA-designated Superfund site, Federal Creosote in Manville, NJ and agreed to pay a criminal fine of $1 million and help in the ongoing investigation.
The cleanup of the Federal Creosote site, funded by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers, was contracted out to private companies that oversaw the removal, treatment and disposal of contaminated soil, as well as other operations at the site.

Mr. Tejpar allegedly provided inflated invoices and kickbacks worth $1.3 million to employees of the prime contractor of the EPA, who were co-conspirators. In exchange for the kickbacks, the prime contractor allocated $27 million in sub contracts for the removal, treatment and disposal of contaminated soil at the site. The conspiracy took place from December 2001 to spring 2004.

As a part of the same investigation, on July 31, 2008, Mr. Tejpar’s former employer, BEI, pled guilty and agreed to pay $1 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to defraud the EPA at designated Superfund site, Federal Creosote in Manville, NJ. On June 23, 2008, JMJ Environmental Inc., a New Jersey wastewater treatment supply company, and its executives pled guilty to defraud the EPA at two New Jersey Superfund sites, including the Federal Creosote site.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com