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FISCAL YEAR: 2011
1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Joseph Yoon
C.D.  California  2010-CR-00575
2. DEFENDANT: Charles Jangho Yi
C.D.  California  2010-CR-0793-PA
3. DEFENDANT: John Bostick
C.D.  California  2010-CR-0793-PA
Yi was the owner of the now-defunct Millennium-Pacific Icon Group, and Bostick was its vice-president. Millennium-Pacific owned the Forest Glen apartment complex in Winnetka that was being converted into condominiums in 2006. Knowing that asbestos was present in the ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi, Bostick and the project manager, Joseph Yoon, hired a group of Latino day laborers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements. The workers scraped the ceilings of the apartments without knowing about the asbestos and without wearing any protective gear. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area because Santa Ana winds were blowing during the time of the illegal work. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.

The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers.

June 4, 2010
Yoon was charged with one count of conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 371. He pled guilty to the charge.
CITATION: 18 USC 2
July 22, 2010
Yi and Bostick were each charged with 5 counts of violating the CAA {42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1) - knowingly violates} and one count of conspiracy, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 371.
CITATION: 42 U.S.C. 7413(c)(1)
February 23, 2011
Bostick pled guilty to all counts.


Press Release
Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2011

Los Angeles Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the Clean Air Act’s Asbestos Work Practice Standards

> WASHINGTON – John Bostick pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards during the renovation of a 204-unit apartment building in Winnetka, Calif., in 2006.

The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers.

According to the plea agreement filed in federal court, Mr. Bostick knew in January 2006 that asbestos was present in the ceilings of the units of the apartment complex known as Forest Glen. Knowing that the asbestos was there, Mr. Bostick and his co-conspirators hired a group of workers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements, and had them scrape the ceilings of the apartment units without telling the workers about the asbestos. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area and also caused the unlicensed workers to potentially be exposed to asbestos. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the California South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of about $1.2 million dollars.

On June 14, 2010, Joseph Yoon, the project manager, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work place standards at the apartment site. A sentencing date has been set for April 25, 2011.

A six-count indictment charging conspiracy and multiple Clean Air Act violations is pending against co¬defendant Charles Yi, who was the owner of the Forest Glen condominiums. The trial in this case is scheduled for Mar.15, 2011. The allegations in the indictment are mere accusations and all persons are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

March 29, 2011
Yi was convicted by a jury on all counts.


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2011

California Man Convicted of Conspiracy and Violating the Clean Air Act by Improperly Handling Asbestos

WASHINGTON – A Santa Clarita, Calif., resident was convicted today of five environmental charges related to the improper renovation of a San Fernando Valley, Calif., apartment complex – work that caused asbestos to be released into the complex and the surrounding community. Following a two-week trial in U.S. District Court, Charles Yi, 45, was found guilty of five felony offenses, including conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act.

The jury also convicted Yi of failing to notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District about a renovation containing asbestos, failing to provide a properly trained person during a renovation containing asbestos, failing to properly remove asbestos and failing to properly dispose of asbestos wastes.

Yi faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 6, 2011, by U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson.

Yi was the owner of the now-defunct Millennium Pacific Icon Group, which owned the Forest Glen apartment complex, a 204-unit complex in Winnetka, Calif., that was being converted into condominiums in 2006. Knowing that asbestos was present in the ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi and his co-conspirators hired a group of workers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements. The workers scraped the ceilings of the apartments without knowing about the asbestos and without wearing any protective gear. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area because Santa Ana winds were blowing during the time of the illegal work. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.

“Mr. Yi knowingly violated federal laws that set standards for proper disposal of asbestos and placed the workers that he hired at an unacceptable risk of exposure,” said Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “As this conviction shows, we will aggressively prosecute those who deliberately ignore the nation’s Clean Air Act.”

The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers. “Exposure to asbestos can be fatal,” said Nick Torres, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in California. “The defendant knew his operation produced waste material that contained asbestos and, despite being told by inspectors to stop removing it, the illegal asbestos removal continued. Today’s conviction by a jury shows that the American people will not tolerate those who put illegal financial gain ahead of their obligation to obey the law.”

Previously in this case, two co-conspirators pleaded guilty.

John Bostick, 40, of Santa Clarita, who was the vice president of Millennium Pacific Icon Group, pleaded guilty on February 23, 2011, to conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. Bostick, who faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anderson on May 2, 2011.

On June 14, 2010, Joseph Yoon, 33, of Studio City, Calif., who was the project manager on the Forest Glen conversion, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act. Yoon, who is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anderson on April 25, 2011, faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

The jury that convicted Yi on the five counts today also acquitted Yi of one count of failing to inspect for asbestos prior to conducting an asbestos renovation.

The case against Yi, Bostick and Yoon was investigated by the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bayron T. Gilchrist of the Environmental Crimes Section and Senior Trial Attorney David P. Kehoe of the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.

June 6, 2011
Yi was sentenced to 48 months incarceration, 24 months probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,400 to the three workers exposed.


Central District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2011

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MAN SENTENCED TO FOUR YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONSPIRING TO VIOLATE THE CLEAN AIR ACT DURING ASBESTOS REMOVAL

LOS ANGELES – The owner of a San Fernando Valley condominium complex was sentenced today to four years in federal prison for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos work practice standards during the renovation of the 204-unit apartment building – work that caused asbestos to be released into the complex and the surrounding community.

Charles Yi, 45, of Santa Clarita, was sentenced to 48 months in prison by United States District Judge Percy Anderson. Yi was sentenced after being found guilty in March of five felony offenses, including conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act. The jury also convicted Yi of failing to notify the Environmental Protection Agency and the South Coast Air Quality Management District about a renovation containing asbestos, failing to provide a properly trained person during a renovation containing asbestos, failing to properly remove asbestos and failing to properly dispose of asbestos wastes.

A second man involved in the case was also sentenced today. John Bostick, 41, also of Santa Clarita, was sentenced to three years of probation, which is to include six months of home confinement and 150 hours of community service. Bostick pleaded guilty in February 2011 to conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.

“Exposure to asbestos can be fatal,” said Nick Torres, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in California. “The defendants in this case knew their waste material contained asbestos and, despite being told by inspectors to stop removing it, directed their ill-equipped workers to continue. Our message is clear. We are taking action against those who put financial gain ahead of people’s health, workers’ safety and their obligations under the law.”

Yi was the owner of the now-defunct Millennium-Pacific Icon Group, and Bostick was its vice-president. Millennium-Pacific owned the Forest Glen apartment complex in Winnetka that was being converted into condominiums in 2006. Knowing that asbestos was present in the ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi, Bostick and the project manager, ceilings of apartments in the Forest Glen complex, Yi, Bostick and the project manager Joseph Yoon, hired a group of Latino day laborers who were not trained or certified to conduct asbestos abatements. The workers scraped the ceilings of the apartments without knowing about the asbestos and without wearing any protective gear. The illegal scraping resulted in the repeated release of asbestos-containing material throughout the apartment complex and the surrounding area because Santa Ana winds were blowing during the time of the illegal work. After the illegal asbestos abatement was shut down by an inspector from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the asbestos was cleaned up at a cost of approximately $1.2 million.

Yoon, 34, of Studio City, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in June 2010. Yoon is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anderson in July.

The federal Clean Air Act requires those who own or supervise the renovation of buildings that contain asbestos to adhere to certain established work practice standards. These standards were created to ensure the safe removal and disposal of the asbestos and the protection of workers.

The case against Yi, Bostick and Yoon was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the California South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bayron T. Gilchrist of the Environmental Crimes Section and Senior Trial Attorney David P. Kehoe of the U.S. Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division.


Bostick was sentenced to 36 months probation, 6 months to be served in home confinement, 150 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $5,400 in restitution to the three workers exposed..
July 6, 2011
Yoon was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,400 to the three workers exposed.

STATUTE:
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)

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