BOSTON—Asbestos-removal businesswoman did not attend a court hearing yesterday, where she faced sentencing of up to 230 years in prison, according to United States Attorney Michael Sullivan’s office.
Authorities have a warrant out to arrest Albania Deleon, 39, with an address of 1 Sillen Drive, Salem, N.H. Deleon was founded guilty of 28 charges in November by a federal jury, and was free while awaiting sentencing.
Deleon owned Environmental Compliance Training, the state’s largest asbestos removal training school, at 2 Charles St. in Metheun. Prosecutors reported she illegally paid workers to avoid paying taxes and gave out false asbestos training certifications.
The sentencing was scheduled at a 3pm hearing yesterday.
Deleon was charged due to her false reports to the state that her company had dozens trained in conducting asbestos removal from workplaces.
Asbestos is a well known carcinogen that is a naturally occurring fiber. Once disturbed and inhaled, it lodges itself in the outer linings of major organs such as the lung, heart, and abdomen, and cannot be coughed or breathed out. It causes asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, so proper handling is imperative.
Authorites charged Deleon with one count of conspiracy to make false statements, to encourage illegal aliens to reside in the United States and to then hire them. She was also charged with multiple counts of mail fraud and procuring false tax returns based on allegations of her under-the-table payroll through her temporary employment agency.
The indictment alleges that from approximately 2001 to 2006, Deleon owned and operated Environmental Compliance Training, a certified asbestos training school.
The various untrained employees were directed to work for Metheun Staffing, Deleon’s temporary services company that “specialized” in asbestos removal.
Deleon reported to the IRS that her workers’ compensation insurance carries only those employees that actually had taxes withheld. This enabled her to save more than $1 million in tax and insurance payments.
Six of the charges, if convicted, carry a sentence of up to 20 years each, and 22 carry a sentence of up to five years each. Deleon therefore faces up to 230 years in prison in addition to a $250,000 fine.