Thousands of Tonnes of Hazardous Waste Illegally Landfilled : Three-Year Jail Term for E-Waste Criminal in Illinois

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In Illinois a recycling executive has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for illegally landfilling potentially hazardous electronic waste as part of a scheme to re-sell the materials and avoid paying income taxes.

The United States Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois explained that Brian Brundage, owned Intercon Solutions Inc. and EnviroGreen Processing LLC, which purported to recycle electronic waste on behalf of corporate and governmental clients.

Brundage is said to have represented to the clients that the materials would be disassembled and recycled in an environmentally sound manner. In reality, from 2005 to 2016, Brundage caused thousands of tonnes of e-waste and other potentially hazardous materials to be landfilled, stockpiled, or re-sold at a profit to companies who shipped the materials overseas.

Further, he evaded $743,984 in federal taxes by concealing the income he earned from re-selling the e-waste and from paying himself funds that he falsely recorded as Intercon business expenses. Brundage spent the purported expenses for his own personal benefit, including wages for a nanny and housekeeper, jewelry purchases, and payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind.

Brundage, 47, of Schererville, Ind., pleaded guilty last year to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow on Thursday imposed the three-year prison sentence and ordered Brundage to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to his victims.

The defendant admitted in a plea agreement that he caused employees of Chicago Heights-based Intercon and Gary, Ind.-based EnviroGreen to sell some of the e-waste and other materials to vendors who Brundage knew would ship the materials overseas.

Some of the materials contained Cathode Ray Tubes, which are glass video display components of computer and television monitors, and which contain potentially hazardous amounts of lead. Brundage admitted causing multiple tons of CRT glass and other potentially hazardous materials to be destroyed in environmentally unsafe ways and later landfilled.

“Improper management of cathode ray tubes can pose risk to human health and the environment, as they contain significant quantities of lead,” said Jennifer Lynn, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division. “This case demonstrates that EPA and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting the environment and ensuring that companies follow the law.”

Jeffrey Ryan, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General, Great Lakes Regional Investigations Office, added: “The GSA Office of Inspector General will aggressively pursue contractors who make false representations in order to obtain federal business.”

Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, commented: “This sentence should serve as a reminder that HSI will continue to work with its federal, state and local partners to pursue offenders who endanger others by engaging in fraud and deceit.”

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