Investigations

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Photo Refurbishing Company/Owner to Pay $500,000 for HazMat Violations

BEF Corporation (BEF), Allentown, PA, and its President, Elward B. Brewer, were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Allentown to a total of $500,000 in fines and restitution following their November 2004 guilty pleas for violating HazMat regulations. BEF is a photographic equipment reconditioning business that generates HazMat (e.g., silver compounds and acid wastes) in their refurbishing processes. Brewer admitted to directing BEF employees to discharge the hazardous pollutants into the sewer systems of Bethlehem, PA and South Whitehall Township. BEF employees also transported HazMat via truck (without proper documentation and placarding as required by FMCSA regulations) to other BEF facilities in PA for dumping into local sewer systems. BEF was also sentenced in U.S. District Court in Allentown on April 1, 2005 to a $200,000 fine stemming from its guilty plea to multiple charges of exporting reconditioned photo finishing equipment to Iran and making false statements on related shipping documents. The investigation was conducted jointly with EPA-CID and DHS-CBP.