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North Carolina Company Sentenced in Oil Pollution/Tax Evasion Case

Release Date: 09/17/2003
Contact Information:

Teresa Libera 202-564-7873 /

(09/17/03) High Rise Services Company Inc., of Leland, N.C., was sentenced to pay a $700,000 fine and to forfeit $400,000 to the federal government on Sept. 15 following convictions on Clean Water Act and income tax evasion violations relating to the operation of High Rise’s business of re-refining used oils into useable products and cleaning storage tanks. High Rise was also ordered to file amended tax returns for 1993-1999. In previous court actions, High Rise’s President, Andrew Simmons, Jr., pled guilty to the negligent discharge of oil, failing to report a spill and tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in prison, a $50,000 fine and three years of supervised release. In addition, High Rise’s tank farm foreman Anthony Norris previously pled guilty to the negligent discharge of pollutants and making false statements to the Coast Guard and was sentenced to five years probation and a $4,000 fine. Terry Hill, a bookkeeper at High Rise, also pled guilty to tax evasion in connection with the case and was sentenced to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Releasing oil into surface waters can make the waters unfit for recreation and drinking and can cause significant harm to fish and wildlife. The case was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Internal Revenue Service and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Investigative assistance was provided by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Raleigh.