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Virginia Businessman Sentenced for Using False Training Certificates to Obtain Asbestos Contracts
Release Date: 02/23/2006
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(2/23/06) Nicanor Lotuaco, president and co-owner of Air Power Enterprises, Inc. of Norfolk, Va., was sentenced Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia to five months in prison followed by five months home detention and 36-months supervised release. He was also fined $1 million. Lotuaco's co-defendants, ACS Environmental, Inc., its president, James Schaubach, and Air Power Enterprises, Inc., have not yet been sentenced.
All defendants previously pleaded guilty in June 2005 to one count of conspiracy, pursuant to plea agreements. A criminal information was also filed in June 2005 charging ACS Environmental, Schaubach, its president, Air Power Enterprises, and Lotuaco, with one count of conspiracy to defraud EPA, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Labor's Occupational Health and Safety Administration. It was alleged that the defendants obtained numerous false environmental training certificates from a Virginia company named F&M Environmental Technologies, Inc., and used the certificates as part of their contract submittals to Department of Defense agencies, NASA, and local governmental agencies in order secure environmental abatement and remediation contracts. Additionally, it is alleged that Air Power Enterprises, Lotuaco, and Schaubach violated provisions of the Small Business Administration's minority-owned business program. The alleged crimes occurred from 1998 through 2000.
The case was jointly investigated by special agents of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the Defense Criminal Investigative Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Small Business Administration's Office of Inspector General, NASA's Office of Inspector General, the Army Criminal Investigations Division, the Defense Contract Audit Office, and the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. It is being prosecuted by the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division.
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Citizens can help by reporting potential environmental violations: epa.gov/compliance/complaints/index.html