Federals: President of the Environmental Services Business forged documents; hazardous waste stored illegally

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A federal judge sentenced a Fort Wayne woman to two years in prison on Thursday for falsifying documents and illegally storing hazardous waste at her local company.

Michelle M. Rouseff-Kemp last year pleaded guilty to falsifying documents and illegally storing hazardous waste, according to the U.S. District Court.

According to various state and federal court records, he was the owner and chairman of K-Com Transport Services, Inc., also known as KCOM Environmental, which expanded as an environmental services company providing comprehensive waste management services.

Located at 1021 E. Wallace St., the business operated as a hazardous waste carrier and broker without proper authorization, according to federal prosecutors.

“The defendant falsified the documents and became aware that it violated the legal requirements for the proper storage of hazardous waste,” said Larry Starfield, assistant director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Enforcement. “This case proves that people who are aware of violating environmental laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”

According to federal court documents, Rousseff-Kemp’s company received hazardous waste from another company that generated hazardous waste in June 2018. In November, the waste generator sent an e-mail to Rousseff-Kemp requesting copies of the latest hazardous waste shipment manifestos.

At one point, Rousseff-Kemp asked an employee of his company to falsify the signature of a representative of the Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility in the waste manifesto. When the employee refused, Rousseff-Kemp forged his signature.

He returned the manifesto to the waste generator with false information that the waste had been delivered to the treatment facility, which was actually still in Rousseff-Kemp’s business, according to court records.

Rousseff-Kemp then arranged for another transportation company to pick up hazardous waste from a waste generator in March 2019, according to court documents. These wastes were stored in his business and elsewhere until June 2019.

During that time, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management entered into agreements with Rousseff-Kemp to conduct an inspection of its facilities. Prior to that inspection, someone who knew Rousseff-Kemp told someone outside his company’s facility to transport three trailers with garbage cans to an off-site location, court documents said.

Two days later, he told IDEM inspectors that the only trailers in his business earlier this week were not empty but empty.

This raised suspicions, and the North Indiana Environmental Crime Task Force soon began an investigation.

“Protecting public health and safety is critical to enforcing federal criminal law that regulates the proper storage of hazardous waste,” U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson said in a statement. “My office has strong law enforcement partnerships, through which we will investigate and prosecute those who endanger public health for criminal violations of these laws.”

Rousseff-Kemp was also fined $ 5,500.

Under the alleged contract, he must cease to have any business or profession related to waste management or hazardous waste storage or transportation, and may not own, use or manage the trucks or equipment required for this business.

Although there is a website for his business, calls to Fort Wayne are not connected.

In recent years, Rousseff-Kemp has filed several lawsuits in Allen Super Court for non-payment of credit lines or rental fees for trucks and equipment used by his company.

Since 2018, he has been ordered to pay more than $ 700,000 in settlements, according to court records.

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