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N.D.  Mississippi  3:11-CR-00135-WAP-SAA

In May 2009, EPA-CID was notified by MDEQ that on or about December 20, 2007 and January 23, 2008, Leigh Childs, a certified Wastewater Operator, allegedly created and submitted at least 8 quarters of falsified laboratory analytical data and at least 3 falsified Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMR) for Rising Sun Subdivision WWTP and Chapman Subdivision WWTP to MDEQ.

The falsified data included false results for BOD, TSS, Ammonia, DO, Chlorine and pH. The false analytical data was used to prepare the falsified DMRs that were submitted to MDEQ to comply with the POTWs' NPDES permits.

December 15, 2011
Childs was charged with one count of making false statements, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001(aq)(3) and one count of violating the CWA {33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2)(A) - knowingly violates}.

She pled guilty to both counts.

CITATION: 33 U.S.C. 1311(a), 33 U.S.C. 1319
August 1, 2012
Childs was sentenced to 6 months home confinement, 60 months probation and was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment and $34,900 in restitution to 3 wastewater systems as follows:
  • East Leflore Water and Sewer District = $23,800
  • Town of Maben = $9,600
  • Calhoun Country = $1,500

Press Release

Department of Justice
Northern District of Mississippi
August 2, 2012

Derma Woman Sentenced on Clean Water Act Violation

OXFORD, Miss. – Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, together with Maureen O'Mara, Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency's criminal enforcement program in the Southeast, announces:

Mari Leigh Childs, 38, of Derma, former operator of several waste water and drinking water systems in North Mississippi, has been sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Michael P. Mills, in Oxford, Mississippi, following her previous guilty plea to one count of submitting false material statements in regard to Childs' operation of various publicly owned waste water treatment facilities and public drinking water systems and to one count of failing to establish and maintain records, make reports, and sample effluents as required by the Clean Water Act.

Felicia C. Adams, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, said, "The prosecution of Ms. Childs demonstrates the commitment of the United States Attorney's Office to holding individuals accountable for this type of illegal conduct." Judge Mills sentenced Childs to probation for a period of five (5) years, including six (6) months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $34,900.00.

"Childs chose to ignore laws that ensure water quality and protect the safety of the water we drink in Mississippi. When drinking water quality is compromised, human health is adversely impacted," said O'Mara. "The government relies on accurate analytical reports to demonstrate that water is safe to drink. Childs' actions threatened water quality and drinking water safety. Her prosecution and plea should send a clear message to anyone contemplating personal gain at public safety's expense: you will be prosecuted."

This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, along with the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Mims.

  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Title 18 U.S. Criminal Code (TITLE 18)

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