Jonathan Deck, 59, of Norwood, N.J., was sentenced today in federal court in Utica, N.Y., to 15 months in prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with the illegal dumping of thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated construction debris on a 28-acre piece of property on the Mohawk River in upstate New York, the Justice Department announced.
Deck was the last individual sentenced in a series of prosecutions that involved at least two companies and five individuals including Eagle Recycling, Mazza & Sons Inc., Julius DeSimone, Donald Torriero, Dominick Mazza, and Cross Nicastro. The investigation of this conspiracy spanned more than five years and resulted in more than 10 years of incarceration and more than $1 million in criminal fines, restitution, and cleanup costs to remediate a site now contaminated with more than 400 truckloads of asbestos-contaminated wastes.
With respect to Mr. Deck, U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd sentenced him to serve 15 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was further ordered to pay $492,000 in restitution for, among other things, cleanup expenses at the site. Given the ongoing nature of the cleanup, Judge Hurd further authorized the United States to recoup additional, future cleanup costs from the conspirators as well.
Deck pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the wire fraud statute. According to the evidence, Deck and others conspired to fill in the entire property over the course of five years with pulverized construction and demolition debris that was processed at New Jersey solid waste management facilities and then transported to open property in Frankfort, N.Y. The plot was uncovered by law enforcement just months after the operation began, but not before the conspirators had already dumped at least 400 truckloads of debris at the site. Much of the material that was dumped was placed in and around waters of the United States and some of the material was found to be contaminated with asbestos. The conspirators then concealed the illegal dumping and recruited others to join in 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.
This case was investigated by the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, Bureau of Environmental Crimes, EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Revenue Service, New Jersey State Police Office of Business Integrity Unit, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Ohio Department of Environmental Protection. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig A. Benedict of the Northern District of New York, and Trial Attorneys Todd W. Gleason and Gary Donner of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.