Former Contractor, Jeffrey Delucio Charged with Violating Federal Lead Paint Laws
INDIANAPOLIS (STL.News) A federal grand jury in Indianapolis returned an indictment yesterday charging a Richmond, Indiana man with violating the Toxic Substance Control Act, specifically the provisions of the Act concerning lead paint, and obstruction of justice.
According to court documents, Jeffrey Delucio, 52, of Richmond, was a co-operator of Aluminum Brothers Home Improvements LLC in Richmond. Delucio failed to follow lead-safe work practices while renovating residences in the Richmond area. As a result, lead-based paint chips were scattered throughout the properties and were not cleaned up timely or properly as work was being conducted. One of the residences was inhabited by a child with elevated blood lead levels, which had prompted the renovation work at that property to begin with.
The indictment also alleges that Delucio failed to train his workers on lead-safe work practices and then falsified documents to conceal his conduct. Delucio’s company received a federal grand jury subpoena for records, including records of employee training on lead-safe work practices. The indictment alleges that Delucio had not trained his employees but, in response to the subpoena, fabricated records purporting to state that he did.
“The health and safety of all Hoosiers is a responsibility that everyone plays a role in,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Childress. “Mr. Delucio failed the community, his employees, and the environment. This is another example of bringing those who violate that responsibility to justice to help protect our citizens and preserve the environment for current and future generations.”
“The defendant created risks by not only failing to follow lead-safe work practices, but also falsely representing to the government that employees had received training,” said Special Agent in Charge Jennifer Lynn of EPA’s criminal investigation program. “Today’s indictment demonstrates that individuals that intentionally violate environmental laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”
“This indictment represents our continuing resolve to investigate instances of fraud, particularly when the programs involved protect children and families from lead and other hazardous materials,” said HUD OIG Special Agent in Charge Michael Powell. “It is our continuing core mission to work with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s Office to protect the integrity of our programs and to take strong action against those who seek to circumvent the laws meant to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.”
“I want to thank the U.S. EPA, HUD, and DOJ for their collaboration in protecting the health and well-being of Hoosiers,” said IDEM Commissioner Bruno Pigott. “Strong partnerships with our federal partners are vital to keeping our environment safe for children, vulnerable communities, and everyone throughout Indiana.”
Delucio has been charged with two counts of violating the Toxic Substances Control Act, as well as one count of falsifying documents during a federal investigation. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was jointly investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Assistant United States Attorney Kate Olivier is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.