2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

A Vice President of Operations, a former Food Safety Superintendent, and a former Environmental Manager each received sentences that included two years in prison for their roles relating to an explosion that killed five employees at their company’s facility.

The Vice President and Superintendent were convicted of multiple counts in a trial in October 2023. The Environmental Manager had pleaded guilty and testified at that trial.

Actions After the Explosion Led to Harsher Sentences
At their trial, the jury convicted the Vice President for making false compliance certifications as the “responsible official” under the Clean Air Act. The jury convicted both for their roles in falsifying documents and for obstructing the post-explosion investigation by giving false and misleading testimony in sworn statements.

The Environmental Manager, despite his guilty plea, also received a two-year prison sentence. The judge determined he tried to obstruct the government’s prosecution of the Vice President and Superintendent by committing perjury at their trial.

No Prison Time for Others Who Pleaded Guilty
Three former shift superintendents pleaded guilty to falsifying documents. According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) news release, they “accepted responsibility for their actions.” None of them received prison time.

To see DOJ’s news release announcing the sentences https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/corn-milling-company-officials-sentenced-federal-prison-their-role-deadly-explosion-killed