(STL.News) – Andrew K. Ecklund, 57, a chemist, previously employed at an environmental testing company in Northeast Ohio, was charged in a nine-count indictment for falsifying test results that were sent to customers across the country.
As alleged in the indictment, Ecklund was a laboratory analyst who was responsible for testing environmental samples for the presence of hazardous substances. On numerous occasions between December 15, 2014 and February 25, 2015, Ecklund allegedly took steps to make it appear that deficient samples met quality control standards when, as charged in the indictment, they did not.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Ohio EPA, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Army Criminal Investigation Division, Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, and U.S. EPA Criminal Investigation Division, all of which are members of the Northeast Ohio Environmental Crimes Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carmen E. Henderson and Brad J. Beeson.