Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Attorney General files criminal charges against Marcellus Shale waste hauler

Minuteman Environmental Services headquarters in Milton.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Minuteman Environmental Services headquarters in Milton.

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed 64 criminal charges against the owner of a Northumberland County company that hauls waste and equipment for the natural gas industry.

The extensive list of charges against Milton-based Minuteman include multiple counts of fraud and criminal conspiracy related to illegal dumping and overbilling major natural gas companies.

The investigation stems from allegations that Minuteman and its owner, 43 year-old Brian Bolus, was dumping solid waste from gas drilling operations in several counties.

Bolus and Minuteman (which includes Minuteman Towing Inc., Minuteman Spill Response Inc. and Minuteman Environmental Services Inc.) also allegedly overbilled every business with which they contracted by at least one hour per invoice.

According to the grand jury report, the company defrauded dozens of natural gas companies– including Cabot Oil & Gas, Chesapeake Energy, EQT, Range Resources, Halliburton, and ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO.

Minuteman President Brian Bolus

Courtesy: Pa. Attorney General's Office

Minuteman owner Brian Bolus

“Brian Bolus and Minuteman blatantly exploited hard-working employees, dozens of businesses and the environment,” Attorney General Kane said in a statement. “The laws are in place to ensure that all businesses are on a level playing field. When one company cheats, all good companies and the citizens of Pennsylvania suffer as a result.”

As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, Minuteman was raided by federal and state authorities last May. Bolus could not immediately be reached for comment.

In a statement after the raid last spring, Bolus called the investigation “baseless.”

Kane is also filing charges against members of Bolus’ family.

The grand jury found that siblings Robert “Bobby” Bolus Jr. and Debra Bolus, mother Julie Bolus and Sophie Gregory, the elder Bolus’s fiancée, were ghost employees and they conspired together to be eligible for group health insurance.

If convicted of all charges, Brian Bolus faces a maximum fine of $1.4 million.

The Sunbury Daily Item recently reported Bolus has filed for bankruptcy protection for Minuteman, but he issued a statement his business operations “will continue with a bright future ahead.”

Governor Corbett visited the company in February 2012 and touted it as an “American success story.” According to state campaign finance records, Bolus gave $10,000 to Corbett in 2009 and 2010.

Appearing at another Northumberland County business last June, Corbett said he was not well-acquainted with Bolus.

“I’ve met him twice,” Corbett said while touring ACF Industries in Milton.

Read the grand jury report below

Part one:

Part two:

Comments

  • Julieann Wozniak

    Make him drink the flowback, since that is what he’s doing to us.

  • ohknowyoudidnt

    This corporation should be denied bankruptcy!

  • Tom Coppers

    Is anyone surprised what the poisonous fracking industry is doing by greed? -Citizens have seen what NC government has done with the poisonous coal
    ash, now they want to start fracking?—- North Carolina is not new to
    allowing industry to destroy former clean natural resources. The COASTAL
    FISHING INDUSTRY WAS KILLED after NC permitted 3800 massive open-pit
    hog waste lagoons contaminating the state’s drinking water, polluting
    its air and streams and causing open sores and deformed fish and crabs.
    The runoff from 19 million tons of hog waste produced annually in
    Eastern North Carolina from the hog factories has polluted Albemarle
    Sound, the largest freshwater sound in the country, and adjacent Pamlico
    Sound, the largest enclosed saltwater sound. Would you eat seafood with
    open sores and deformations? Also causing Red Tide and Pfiesteria. So,
    they have polluted the large sounds on the coast for decades and now
    they want to poison the Aquifers in North Carolina and water in nearby
    states that share the same ground water? This can be stopped. Please
    call your representatives. The internet can show you how many vast
    communities have poisoned water from Fracking. It’s documented. Now they
    have no clean water. So again, what price will they be charging
    citizens for clean water to stay alive?

  • http://www.crackineverything.com/ DeanMarshall

    This is just one of dozens if not hundreds of unscrupulous profiteers dribbling waste from Fracking all over the country! Get a Clue !

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education