June 6, 2014

Environmental crimes and insurance fraud scheme: Minuteman, Brian Bolus and others face multiple charges

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced that her office's investigation into environmental crimes allegedly committed by Minuteman and its owner Brian Bolus also revealed multiple conspiracies among Bolus, his mother, two siblings, his father and his father's fiancée to commit insurance fraud, resulting in multiple charges.

Evidence and testimony regarding the alleged illegal activity was presented to a statewide investigating grand jury, which recommended the criminal charges being filed today. 

The investigation began with allegations involving Pennsylvania's environmental laws that Minuteman (Minuteman Towing Inc., Minuteman Spill Response Inc. and Minuteman Environmental Services Inc.) and Brian Bolus unlawfully disposed of and/or buried solid waste into the ground, and also disposed of waste from well drilling operations onto the ground.

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Brian Bolus

 
Robert Bolus Sr.

 
Robert Bolus Jr.

 
Julie Bolus

 
Debra Bolus

 
Sophie Gregory

In addition to violating the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law and the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, the grand jury found that Brian Bolus and Minuteman overbilled every business with which they contracted by at least one hour per invoice, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Brian Bolus and Minuteman blatantly exploited hard-working employees, dozens of businesses and the environment," Attorney General Kane said. "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."  

The Office of Attorney General, investigating Minuteman's alleged environmental crimes, discovered that several members of the Bolus family were on the payroll either at Minuteman or Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Services Inc., which is owned by Robert Bolus Sr.

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 that they conspired together to be eligible for group health insurance.

As a result, the half a million dollars in claims Bobby Bolus, Debra Bolus, Julie Bolus and Sophie Gregory are accused of submitting increased health care premiums for all Minuteman and Bolus Truck Parts employees, from drivers to administrative assistants. 

Many current and former Minuteman employees testified that they believed they would have been fired if they if they did not follow Brian Bolus's demands to overbill companies and put his family members on the payroll. 

Brian Bolus reaped significant financial benefits from the crimes he is accused of committing. His assets include a $1.4 million-home in Lewisburg, a vacation home in Park City, Utah valued at $2.4 million and a company spill response truck outfitted for family occupancy.

If convicted of all 64 charges, Brian Bolus faces a maximum fine of nearly $1.4 million.

The case will be prosecuted in Union County by Deputy Attorney General Amy Carnicella of the Criminal Prosecutions Section and Senior Deputy Attorney General Robert Stewart of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section.

Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the FBI for their assistance with the investigation.

Below is a complete list of the defendants and the charges against them:

--Brian Bolus, 43, 339 Furnace Road, Lewisburg, Union County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; seven counts of unlawful conduct; seven counts of criminal conspiracy - unlawful conduct; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; three counts of corrupt organizations; one count of dealing in proceeds unlawful activity; one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of criminal conspiracy - theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of theft by deception; one count of criminal conspiracy - theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; one count of criminal conspiracy - receiving stolen property; one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices; one count of criminal conspiracy - deceptive or fraudulent business practices; one count of unlawful use of a computer and one count of criminal conspiracy - unlawful use of a computer.

--Robert Bolus Sr., 71, currently incarcerated in the Lackawanna County Prison on charges from a separate OAG insurance fraud investigation, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Robert "Bobby" Bolus Jr., 48, 8 Red Bud Drive, Bloomsburg, Columbia County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Julie Bolus, 71, 6 Pleasant View Drive, Mountain Top, Luzerne County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Debra Bolus; 50; 125 Kestrel Road; Mountain Top; Luzerne County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Sophie Gregory, 50, 4906 60th Drive E., Bradenton, Florida, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

The following businesses also are charged:

--Minuteman Environmental Services Inc., 2435 Housels Run Road, Milton, Northumberland County, is charged with seven counts of unlawful conduct; one count of corrupt organizations; one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices and one count of unlawful use of a computer.

--Minuteman Spill Response, Inc., 2435 Housels Run Road, Milton, Northumberland County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; seven counts of unlawful conduct; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; three counts of corrupt organizations; one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity; one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices and one count of unlawful use of a computer.

--Minuteman Towing Inc., 2436 Housels Run Road, Milton, Northumberland County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; seven counts of unlawful conduct; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; three counts of corrupt organizations; one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity; one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices and one count of unlawful use of a computer.

--Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Services Inc., 922 Sanderson St., Throop, Lackawanna County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Key Brockway Inc., 922 Sanderson St., Throop, Lackawanna County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

--Key Sales and Center Inc., 922 Sanderson St., Throop, Lackawanna County, is charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)

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