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Environmental Crimes Bulletin November 2023 Week 3

In this issue:

United States v. Angel E. Dalfin, et al., Nos. 1:23-CR-00040, 21-mj-05130 (W.D.N.Y.), AUSA Aaron Mango

On November 13, 2023, a court sentenced Angel E. Dalfin to complete a five-year term of probation, to include eight months’ home detention, perform 600 hours of community service with Habitat for Humanity, and pay a total of $115,000 in restitution to 19 victims.

Dalfin, the owner and operator of Williamsville rental properties, falsified documents related to lead paint disclosure notices (18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3)). Co-defendant Paul R. Heil aided and abetted Dalfin (18 U.S.C. § 2).

In February 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received a referral from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) involving multiple properties owned and/or managed by the defendants. The Erie County Health Department previously cited these properties for numerous lead paint hazard violations. Concerned parents living at these properties also notified the health department regarding children with elevated blood lead levels.

The Section Eight Assistance Program placed many of the tenants on these properties. Because the Program administrators worked with landlords, those tenants received lead paint disclosure notices. The rest of the tenants (about half those who resided at the defendants’ property) did not receive notice. The disclosures provided to tenants, however, omitted information and contained false statements concealing lead paint hazards. The health department documented an extensive history of lead paint violations in these properties, including children with elevated lead blood levels.

After receiving notification of the violations from the health department, the defendants falsely claimed they addressed the issues in correspondence with potential investors. Dalfin and Heil continued to sell properties without addressing the lead paint hazards. Heil was sentenced in June 2022 to complete a one-year term of probation and pay a $15,000 fine.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation with assistance from the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

Updated February 1, 2024