SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Bruce Evans, Sr., age 65, former Greenfield Township Sewer Authority Manager, and his son, Bruce Evans, Jr., age 37, both of Greenfield Township, Pennsylvania were indicted on January 8, 2019 by a federal grand jury for multiple violations of the Clean Water Act. Evans, Sr. is also charged with multiple counts of wire fraud.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Evans, Sr. was a Greenfield Township Supervisor, a Greenfield Township Sewer Authority Board Member, and Manager of the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority. Evans, Jr. was an employee of both Greenfield Township and the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority. It is alleged that on various dates between April 2013 and December 2017, Evans, Sr. and Evans, Jr. failed to operate and manage the municipality’s waste water treatment plant in accordance with regulations and limitations specified in a permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA). The permit required that the permittee at all times maintain in good working order, and properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems, which were installed and used by the permittee to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the permits. It is also alleged that as a result of such failures, pollutants were discharged in violation of the permit.
The indictment further alleges that Evans, Sr. engaged in a scheme to defraud the Greenfield Township Sewer Authority by fraudulently converting funds and property of the Sewer Authority for his own personal benefit and for the benefit of a family member, including unlawful payments for a personal cell phone, fueling of personal vehicles, educational expenses, and unlawful use of Greenfield Township Sewer Authority labor.
The charges stem from an investigation jointly conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the case.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In this case, the Clean Water Act violations are punishable by up to 3 years’ imprisonment and a sliding scale for fines of $5,000 to $25,000 per violation, per day. The maximum penalty under the Wire Fraud statute is 20 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Each crime also carries a term of supervised release following imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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Author: January 30, 2019