South Carolina Man Sentenced to 36 Months for Mail Fraud Conspiracy, Theft from Employee Benefit Plans, and Unlawful Storage of Hazardous Waste | USAO-EDKY

LEXINGTON, KY (USDOJ.Today) A South Carolina man, Aaron Micah Jamison, 45, who formerly resided in Lexington, was sentenced in federal court on Thursday, September 24, to 36 months in prison, by Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, for theft from an employee benefits plan, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and unlawful storage of hazardous waste.

According to his plea agreement, Jamison was the CEO of Micah Group, LLC, which offered construction and remediation services to the energy and environmental sectors.  Jamison admitted that from March 4, 2016 to October 30, 2016, he knowingly failed to remit employees’ 401(k) contributions that had been withheld from their paychecks, totaling over $30,000.00, and diverted them for his personal use and the use of his businesses.  Jamison also admitted that from April 2, 2017 through April 28, 2017, he failed to remit withheld pre-tax health contributions of the Micah Group’s employees to its health insurer, totaling $4,843.73.

The Micah Group also performed abandonment of ground water monitoring wells at numerous sites around the state of Kentucky, including gas stations, convenience stores, and other private property, and sought payment for such work from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.  On multiple occasions, Jamison admitted to signing documents falsely representing that the wells had been properly abandoned in order to bring income to the Micah Group and to ensure that him and other employees were paid. At sentencing, the court determined that between 2013 and 2017, the false representations made by Jamison and his co-conspirators caused approximately $640,000 in loss to the state.

Finally, Jamison admitted to unlawfully storing hazardous waste at Micah Group’s premises at various points in time between January 2016 and December 2017.

Jamison pleaded guilty in January 2020.

“The defendant stole from his employees and lied to state authorities to further his own interests,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “His conduct not only financially harmed his employees, and caused the state to spend money to clean up his mess, but he also potentially put the public at risk by failing to properly monitor ground water wells and store hazardous materials.  I commend the cooperation and work of the investigative agencies involved, as their efforts helped hold the defendant accountable for his actions.”

“The defendant was paid to transport hazardous waste as defined under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Mr. Jamison chose to illegally store the hazardous waste and place the public, and environment at risk” said Special Agent in Charge Charles Carfagno of the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Atlanta, GA.

“Criminal acts like this directly impact participants in employee benefit plans by compromising their hard-earned benefits and eroding confidence in those chosen to manage their trust. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration is committed to ensuring the integrity of employee benefit programs,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Joe Rivers, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Under federal law, Jamison must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years. In addition, Jamison was ordered to pay $640,638.31 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Duncan, SAC Carfagno, and Director Rivers made the announcement.

The investigation was pursued by the United States Secret Service, Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigation Division and Office of Inspector General, and the United States Department of Labor with assistance by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Greenfield and Kate Anderson.

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