Eagle Environmental

HOMELESS MEN USED FOR IMPROPER ASBESTOS REMOVAL

20 years ago

Buddy Vernon Frazier of Chattanooga, Tenn., pleaded guilty on Oct. 21, James Edward Bragg of Chicamauga, Ga., pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, and Chance Calvin Gaines of Chattanooga, Tenn., pleaded guilty on Oct. 14, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, in Madison. They admitted to conspiring to use untrained homeless men to remove asbestos in violation of the Clean Air Act. The defendants also admitted used false social security account numbers to obtain asbestos worker certifications from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. In 1996, Gaines and Bragg recruited workers who were then transported to the Weyerhaeuser Door and Stile manufacturing building in Marshfield, Wisc., where they stripped asbestos insulation can cause a lung disease known as “asbestosis,” lung cancer, and mesothelioma which is a cancer of the chest and abdominal cavities. Frazier obtained false identification cards for men working at the Marshfield site.

When sentenced, each of the three defendants faces a maximum of up to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.

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