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Los Angeles Man Sentenced to 37 Months in Jail For Mishandling Hazardous Waste

Release Date: 02/23/2006
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, 202-564-4355 /

(2/23/06) Behzad Kahoolyzadeh, a west Los Angeles man, was sentenced on Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to 37 months in jail and forced to pay $1.29 million in cleanup costs for conspiracy to improperly store and transport dangerous chemicals, primarily the dry cleaning solvent perchloroethylene (PERC). Kahoolyzadeh, who also used the names Behzad Cohen and David Cohen, pleaded guilty on March 4, 2004, to conspiracy on two counts of the illegal transportation of hazardous waste and two counts of illegally storing hazardous waste.

Kahoolyzadeh was associated with a company called AAD Distribution and Dry Cleaning Services, Inc. (AAD), based in Vernon, Calif. The company was one of the largest handlers of dry cleaning waste in California until it was shut down in Jan. 2001. It charged dry cleaners to pick up, treat and arrange for the disposal of a hazardous dry cleaning compound known as PERC, a cancer-causing chemical. To hide permit violations from city and state inspectors, Kahoolyzadeh and his partners conspired to load drums filled with PERC waste onto trucks before inspections. They then shipped the drums off-site and stored them at facilities that were not permitted to store hazardous wastes. Manifests for these shipments were falsified to conceal the illegal shipments.

Kahoolyzadeh's co-defendant, Hormoz Pourat, vice president of AAD, was also previously sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.29 million in restitution for conspiring to violate hazardous waste laws.

The cases were investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigations Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Transportation; the California Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Toxic Substances Control; the city of Vernon; and the Colorado State Attorney General's Office.

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