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District of Columbia Man Indicted for Improperly Removing Asbestos and Defrauding Investors

On May 5, 2016, James Powers, of Washington, DC, was indicted in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for fraud stemming from a scheme to improperly remove asbestos from a historic building and violations of the Clean Air Act.

According to the indictment, Powers endangered his work crew by not taking the proper steps to renovate a building containing asbestos. Powers was aware that the building contained unabated asbestos prior to commencing the renovation activity. In September 2011, Powers contracted with a waste disposal company to haul construction debris from the property to an off-site disposal facility. He failed to inform the waste disposal company that the construction debris contained asbestos, thus causing the company to transport the asbestos containing hazardous material to a facility not qualified to receive asbestos waste.

DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.