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North Carolina Businessman Indicted for False Claims and Dumping in the Chesapeake Bay
Release Date: 11/18/2004
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113
Donna Heron, 215-814-5113
PHILADELPHIA – On November 17, 2004, a federal grand jury in Norfolk, Va., returned an indictment of All State Environmental Dredging, Inc. and its president, Rudy J. Lanier, 54, of Sneads Ferry, N.C.
The defendants were charged with criminal violations of the Clean Water Act, false statements, and false claims related to All State=s contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform dredging work on Tangier Island, Accomack County, Virginia, in the Chesapeake Bay.
All State=s contract with the Army Corps required the company to dredge Tangier=s Channel and turning basin, and to deposit the dredged spoil at a beach replenishment site on the island=s southwest coast. The indictment alleges that in late 2000, Lanier directed All State employees to accelerate the dredging process by rerouting the discharge pipeline and discharging spoil into the waters of Tangier Sound, off the island=s east coast. Army Corps surveyors who investigated the alleged dumping subsequently found in the Tangier Sound shipping channel a large mound of underwater material with a volume of more than 4700 cubic yards.
The indictment also alleges that after Army Corps contracting personnel were alerted to the illegal discharges, Lanier made a series of false statements to the Corps in an attempt to evade detection and to obtain full payment under the contract. Lanier also allegedly directed an employee to falsify Army Corps forms related to weather delays of the work, in an attempt to avoid penalties for missing the contract=s completion deadline.
An indictment is only an allegation, and is not evidence of a crime. Defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Army Criminal Investigative Division and the Environmental Protection Agency=s Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality criminal investigation unit. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen W. Haynie, of the U.S. Attorney=s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Fisher, Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. EPA