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Press Release

Manclark Sentenced to Violating EPA Regulations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Mississippi


March 8, 2016                                            


OXFORD, Miss. Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, together with Andy Castro, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in the Southeast, announces:

William Michael Manclark, 51, of Newport Beach, California, was sentenced on March 7, 2016, by United States District Judge Neal B. Biggers, Jr., in Oxford, Mississippi, following a previous guilty plea to one felony count of aiding and abetting others in knowingly making false material statements in a record or report maintained or used for the purpose of compliance with regulations set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  At the time of the offense, Manclark was the Chief Executive Officer and sole shareholder of Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. (Leading Edge), a corporation headquartered in Costa Mesa, California.   Leading Edge operated a commercial aircraft painting facility at Greenville’s Mid-Delta Regional Airport until mid-2013.  Leading Edge has previously entered a guilty plea to one felony count of treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste without a permit at Leading Edge’s now shuttered Greenville, Mississippi, facility, and was ordered to pay monetary penalties in the total amount of $1 million.

Manclark was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five (5) months to be followed by five (5) months of home confinement.  Once his term of incarceration and home confinement is complete, Manclark will be on supervised release for a period of one (1) year.  In addition to the incarceration, Manclark was ordered to pay a fine of $250,000.00.  Manclark was ordered to report to prison on April 18, 2016.

Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney, stated:  “The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi is working aggressively to pursue those individuals who commit fraudulent acts and bring them to justice.  Today’s sentence insures that those illegal practices will not be tolerated and fraudsters who knowingly make false material statements will be punished.  Our office appreciates the hard work of the Environmental Protection Agency during this investigation.”

“Without accurate and honest information, EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment is severely undermined,” said Andy Castro, Acting Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Mississippi.  “The type of paints and solvents used by the defendant’s company are especially hazardous, and can put public health at risk if not handled and disposed of properly.  This sentence demonstrates that companies and their senior managers who knowingly submit false reports will face the consequences in court.”

This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

Updated March 8, 2016