Federals agents have accused Brian Brundage, the former owner of Chicago-based electronics recycling company Intercon Solutions and current owner of EnviroGreen Processing, of fraud for failing to properly break down and recycle electronic devices according to federal guidelines. Brundage allegedly shipped Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) from old computer and TV monitors, which contained “hazardous amounts of lead,” and batteries to overseas landfills for disposal. The leftover electronics that weren’t shipped overseas were destroyed inappropriately at his businesses or stored in warehouses, which is forbidden by federal guidelines. Ars Technica reports: According to the indictment (PDF), Brundage also improperly resold many of the electronics he acquired. Between 2009 and 2015, Brundage received shipments of calculators from an unnamed technology company in Texas with instructions to disassemble the calculators and recycle them accordingly. But Brundage apparently resold the calculators to another company based in Tampa, Florida, which purchased and sold used electronics. In exchange for the shipments of calculators, Brundage allegedly had the company in Tampa directly pay some of Brundage’s personal expenses. Those expense include between $31,000 and $39,000 per year for a nanny and $26,000 to $42,000 per year for a housekeeper, as well as tens of thousands of dollars for jewelry expenses and payments to an Indiana-based casino. Among the more colorful accusations in the US government’s indictment of Brundage: the businessman allegedly went to lengths to fool third-party auditors into giving his companies the certifications necessary to keep doing business as an e-recycler. Brundage allegedly invited unknowing customers on sham tours of Intercon’s facility. Once there, he “directed Intercon’s warehouse staff to set up a staged disassembly line to make it falsely appear as though Intercon regularly processed e-waste in a manner that was consistent with its public representations.” The Chicago Tribune published a feature on Intercon in 2007. In it, Brundage is quoted saying, “We put old products on a disassembly line. We break each item down to raw materials and send them off to be smelted and reused.” He added, “nothing that leaves here goes to a landfill.”
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