NOVEMBER 2008

Connecticut man found guilty in waste industry corruption probe

Nora R. Dannehy, acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging Timothy Arciola, of Washington, Connecticut, with three counts of mail fraud. The indictment was returned September 10.

According to the indictment, Arciola devised a scheme to defraud Automated Waste Disposal (AWD) and Superior Waste Disposal (SWD), trash hauling companies located in Danbury, Connecticut that were at the center of a long-term federal investigation into the trash hauling industry. The indictment alleges that Arciola, who was employed as a salesman at AWD and SWD until March 2008, created a scheme by which a portion of payments made by some of AWD and SWD’s customers were diverted to him.

It is alleged that, in December 2007, Arciola formed Omni Management Group, LLC, and was the company’s only listed officer. As part of a scheme to defraud, Arciola, through Omni Management Group, LLC, solicited customers with established business relationships with AWD/SWD. The indictment alleges that Arciola and others approached customers of AWD/SWD, had them sign contracts with Omni Management Group, and asked them to submit future payments for trash removal to Omni. Arciola and others then approached company officials at AWD/SWD and provided them with fraudulent reasons why customers should be given a reduced rate for trash service currently being provided to the AWD/SWD customer. AWD/SWD then executed change orders that reflected the lowered rate. The change orders often would substitute a post office box controlled by Arciola for the customers’ legitimate addresses. The customer would pay Omni, who then would mail a portion of that payment to AWD/SWD. Arciola and others would take the difference between the two payments and retain the funds.

The indictment alleges that Arciola initiated this fraud scheme after being charged for his participation in a trash industry racketeering conspiracy on June 8, 2006. On June 9, 2006, Arciola was arrested and subsequently released on bond, a condition of which required that he not commit any offense in violation of federal, state or local law while on release. On May 11, 2007, Arciola pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and, on January 22, 2008, he was sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment. Arciola began serving his prison term on approximately March 4, 2008, and currently is incarcerated.

The charge of mail fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Because Arciola allegedly committed these offenses while on release in another federal case, if convicted, he could be sentenced to an additional 10-year term of incarceration on each count, which must run consecutively to any sentence imposed on the mail fraud counts.

Dannehy stressed that an indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial at which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.