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Release Date: 6/3/1999
Contact Information: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548

PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that three men and two companies were sentenced in federal District Court on charges of conspiracy to violate Clean Air Act regulations, and federal tax and customs laws.

The court sentenced Bryn Mawr businessman R. Colin Dayton to five years probation (six months of which is home confinement) and ordered him to forfeit $688,000. The Court also sentenced Christopher Farnham, a sales associate with Refrigerant Management Services, Inc., and Richard Pelati, a former employee of National Refrigerants, Inc., to three years probation, including two months home confinement. Pelati was also fined $10,000. Two companies owned by Dayton, Refrigerant Management Services and R&C Sales, were placed on three years probation.

On February 17, 1998, the five defendants pled guilty to involvement in an illegal scheme to buy and sell ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), in violation of EPA regulations. They also failed to pay the federal excise tax on the ozone-depleting chemicals, and violated customs law on smuggling goods into the United States. After purchasing 42,400 cylinders of illegally imported CFC-12 (also called Freon) Dayton and Farnham (through RMS and R& C Sales) illegally resold the CFC-12 in the U.S. market. CFC-12 is used in automobile air conditioning systems in vehicles built prior to 1994.

"This case shows that EPA and the Department of Justice will aggressively enforce the laws regulating the use, sale and importation of these ozone-destroying substances," said EPA Regional Administrator W. Michael McCabe.

Scientists worldwide believe that CFCs contribute to the destruction of the earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Ozone loss in the atmosphere is likely to lead to an increase in skin cancer in humans and damage to plant and animal life.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Philadelphia, and was jointly investigated by the the U.S. Customs Department, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division.

For more information on CFCs and stratospheric ozone, please call the Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline, 1-800-296-1996 or check EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Protection web site at