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PA FORMER PENNSYLVANIA LABORATORY PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY
Release Date: 07/10/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JULY 10, 1998
FORMER PENNSYLVANIA LABORATORY PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY
William L. Hopkins, Jr., of Buck Hill Falls, Pa., former president of Hess Environmental Laboratories and R.K.R. Hess Associates Inc., of East Stroudsburg, Pa., pleaded guilty on July 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Easton, Pa., to four felonies. Hopkins admitted that he aided and abetted a violation of the Clean Water Act, conspired to defraud the United States, aided and abetted the making of false statements to EPA and the U.S. Army, and committed mail fraud. All of these charges resulted from the defrauding of hundreds of Hess Laboratories customers who were billed at least $2.1 million for environmental lab tests that were falsely reported or never performed. The customers included: numerous municipalities, many environmental consulting firms and contractors, schools, the National Park Service, state agencies, Mack Trucks, the Tobyhana Army Depot, Kraft Foods, Air Products and Chemicals, and Wal-Mart among others. Customers, EPA, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection relied upon the truthful, complete, and accurate reporting of these tests to ensure compliance with environmental laws and to determine necessary remedies in cases where the presence of hazardous materials is indicated. When sentenced, Hopkins faces a maximum of up to 18 years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $1 million. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, EPA’s Office of Inspector General, and the Criminal Investigation Division of the U.S. Army, with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.