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Houston Man Added to EPA’s Fugitive List

Diesel fuel fraud perpetrator skips court appearances.

by on Jun.23, 2010

Abuteir is known to carry a weapon at all times.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added Yousef Ishaq Abuteir of Houston, Texas to the agency’s fugitive Web site for failing to appear for several scheduled court proceedings.

Abuteir, an Israeli citizen, pleaded guilty to conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from the collection of federal fuel excise taxes.

EPA initially investigated the case for potential violations of the Clean Air Act arising from Abuteir’s purchase of kerosene and jet fuel, illegally blending it with other materials and later selling it as diesel fuel in the Houston area.

“Those who are charged with violating the law must have their guilt or innocence determined in a court of law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The public can help EPA achieve its mission by reporting any information they have on Mr. Abuteir or other fugitives.”

Abuteir was one of three individuals who pleaded guilty of defrauding the IRS of millions of dollars in federal fuel excise taxes.

Between July 2002 and November 2003, Sidney Berle Baldon II, owner-operator of Mid-Coast International, and Tracey Dale Diamond, an officer of the company, purchased more than $10 million of jet fuel from Calcasieu Refining Company.

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Following Fuelishness!

Baldon falsely represented in letters to Calcasieu that the jet fuel being purchased was for export to Mexico and as a result, Mid-Coast paid no federal excise taxes. Mid-Coast transported the untaxed jet fuel from Louisiana to locations owned by Abuteir in Houston and Channelview, Texas, where the jet fuel was then illegally blended with other materials including middle distillate oil, a byproduct of asphalt production.   (more…)

Emissions Tester Added to EPA’s Fugitive List

Las Vegas Man indicted for falsifying vehicle emissions tests.

by on May.12, 2010

DeMatteo allegedly "clean scanned" vehicles.

Joseph DeMatteo of Clark County, Nevada is now listed on the Environmental Protection Agency’s  fugitive Web site for failing to surrender to federal law enforcement authorities following his indictment for criminal violations of the Clean Air Act.

DeMatteo was one of 10 Nevada-certified emissions testers indicted on January 6 by a federal grand jury for one felony count for falsifying vehicle emissions test reports in Las Vegas between November 2007 and May 2009. The maximum penalty for the violations contained in the indictment includes up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

It is a crime to knowingly alter or conceal any record or other document required to be maintained by the Clean Air Act. An indictment, to be clear, is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

“EPA is serious about enforcing the nation’s environmental laws and making sure that those who are charged with criminal violations are held accountable,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

“The public can help EPA achieve its mission by reporting any information they have on the whereabouts of Mr. DeMatteo to EPA’s fugitive Web site or local law enforcement,” said Giles.

Las Vegas is required to perform emissions testing because currently it violates ozone and carbon monoxide standards. Ozone is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body’s organs.

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