WASHINGTON – Julius DeSimone of Rome, N.Y., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Utica, N.Y., for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act and to defraud the United States, and to making false statements to federal law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division announced today.
DeSimone pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Hurd for the Northern District of New York to two criminal felony counts for conspiring to violate the Clean Water Act’s prohibition on filling wetlands and then lying to federal agents in an attempt to conceal his crimes. According to the charges, DeSimone 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 New York and New Jersey solid waste management facilities and then transported to a farmer’s property in Frankfort, N.Y.
According to court documents, DeSimone and other conspirators concealed the illegal dumping by fabricating a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) permit and forging the name of a DEC official on the fraudulent permit. DeSimone admitted in the plea agreement that once DEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) learned of the illegal dumping, he lied to federal agents in an effort to conceal the crimes.
DeSimone faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each felony count and may be ordered to pay for portions of the cleanup at the site.
Today’s plea is related to the pleas of Eagle Recycling and Jonathan Deck who pleaded guilty to similar conspiracy charges in 2009 and 2011.
This case was investigated by the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Bureau of Environmental Crimes, EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Internal Revenue Service, investigators from the New Jersey State Police Office of Business Integrity Unit, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig A. Benedict, of the Northern District of New York, and Todd W. Gleason of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.