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E-M:/ Hi Po Racketeering Case



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From: GROUP PRESS 202-260-4355 <PRESS@epamail.epa.gov>
To: Multiple recipients of list <epa-press@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov>
Subject: RACKETEERING CHARGES BROUGHT IN MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL CASE
X-Comment: U.S. EPA Press Releases


!/RACKETEERING CHARGES BROUGHT IN MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL CASE/SCROLL

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 2000

RACKETEERING CHARGES BROUGHT IN MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL CASE

Six defendants: Hi-Po Inc., a former Ypsilanti, Mich., environmental
consulting and cleanup firm; Aaron Smith of Northville, Mich., former
president and owner of Hi-Po; Stephen Carbeck of Ann Arbor, Mich., former
Operations Manager of Hi-Po; Leonard Leniczek of Mayville, Mich., a former
Chrysler employee; Lyman Aris of Milan, Mich., a University of Michigan
employee; and Donald Schroat of Commerce Township, Mich., a former City of
Riverview employee, were charged with various federal crimes on July 27, in
U.S. District Court in Detroit, Mich.

The indictment alleges that from June
1996 to October 1998, Smith and Carbeck violated the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) by operating Hi-Po as an organized
crime enterprise and that they engaged in a pattern of polluting soils and
waters so that Hi-Po would be hired to clean up the contamination.

In addition, the indictment charges that Smith and Carbeck overstated the
amount of contamination that was present, charged customers for services
that were not performed and equipment that was not used, and bribed
employees of customer organizations so that they would assist in obtaining
contracts and/or submitting false invoices.

Smith, Carbeck, and Hi-Po are charged with conspiracy to violate the Clean 
Water Act, violating the Clean Water Act and mail fraud. Smith was also 
charged with money laundering and another count of the indictment seeks 
forfeiture of illegal profits from Smith. Leniczek was charged with bribery 
and conspiring with Smith. Aris
and Schroat were charged with bribery.

The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division and the 
FBI with the assistance of the University of Michigan's Department of 
Public Safety. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in 
Detroit.

R-119###


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