December 2004

El Paso Company Pleads Guilty to Waste Fraud

Villafam Contracting Services, LLC, of El Paso, Texas, and one if its managers, Denise Y. Villa-Aceves, pleaded guilty on October 19, 2004, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and knowingly concealing a felony.

Co-defendant Hector Villa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud on October 7, 2004. The defendants submitted fraudulent invoices to the city with inflated amounts for the hazardous waste collected and disposed of by the company under a contract with the city. When sentenced, Villafam faces a maximum fine of $500,000. Denise Villa-Aceves faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000. Hector Villa faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and a payment of $685,410.35 in restitution. The government is seeking the forfeiture of proceeds derived from the defendants’ scheme including company assets and a monetary judgment of $391,393.07. The case was investigated by the El Paso Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in El Paso is prosecuting this case.

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