(CHICAGO) The owner of two recycling companies has been charged with a multi-million dollar scheme that involved reselling or illegally landfilling hazardous electronic waste that he claimed to be recycling safely.
Brian Brundage, former owner of Chicago Heights-based Intercon Solutions Inc. and current owner of Gary, Indiana-based EnviroGreen Processing LLC, was indicted on five counts of income tax evasion, four counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.
Several companies and governmental entities hired Intercon and EnviroGreen to disassemble, recycle or destroy e-waste or other hazardous materials, prosecutors said. The companies’ agreements with customers specified that they would handle the materials in an environmentally sound manner without dumping them in landfills, reselling them or exporting them.
Intercon specifically claimed it participated in “absolutely no reselling, no remarketing, no landfilling, no incineration and no exportation,” according to the indictment.
For more than a decade, the companies resold materials such as hazardous glass and batteries to vendors that Brundage knew would ship them overseas, prosecutors said. He also caused several tons of glass video displays containing “hazardous amounts of lead” to be dumped in landfills.
In 2011, Intercon was accused of shipping potentially hazardous materials to Hong Kong and Brundage made efforts to conceal the company’s involvement in such shipments, prosecutors said. These efforts included the destruction of business records.
He is also accused of having Intercon pay his personal expenses, such as his nanny’s wages or payments to a casino, and then listed the spending as business expenses on the company’s tax returns, according to prosecutors.
Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The wire fraud and mail fraud counts are each punishable by up to 20 years.