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PA PENNSYLVANIA LABORATORY TO PAY $5.6 MILLION IN RESTITUTION
Release Date: 04/17/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 1998
PENNSYLVANIA LABORATORY TO PAY $5.6 MILLION IN RESTITUTION
On April 9, Hess Environmental Laboratories of East Stroudsburg, Pa., was ordered to pay $5,553,634 in restitution and serve five years probation by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Easton. Hess Labs previously pleaded guilty to nine violations of federal law. The charges included violations of the Clean Water Act, making false statements, mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Hess defrauded hundreds of customers who were billed at least $2.1 million for environmental lab tests that were falsely reported or never performed. These customers hired Hess to conduct a variety of tests. Customers, EPA, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection required accurate test reports to ensure compliance with environmental laws and to determine necessary remedies in cases where the presence of hazardous materials was indicated. As part of its restitution, Hess will pay for new testing. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s Office of Inspector General and the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Army with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.