EPA's Most Wanted: Fugitive violated Clean Air Act
A Houston man who pleaded guilty to tax fraud for his role in an illegal fuel blending scheme failed to appear for court proceedings.
Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 05:55 PM
When it comes to planet-harming criminals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn't play around. The EPA has its very own most wanted list, and the latest addition is a Houston, Texas, man who skipped town after he was convicted of several criminal charges including evading federal fuel excise taxes.
The EPA initially investigated Yousef Abuteir for potential violations of the Clean Air Act after he purchased kerosene and jet fuel, illegally mixed it with other substances and sold the concoction as diesel fuel to retailers in Houston.
In 2008, Abuteir pleaded guilty to conspiring to evade federal fuel excise tax laws along with two men from whom he had purchased untaxed jet fuel. He was also convicted for violating state laws related to fuel, but failed to show up at court proceedings. Abuteir was sentenced to seven years in prison in absentia, and an arrest warrant was later issued.
Launched in 2008, the EPA's fugitive website includes photos and information on suspects who failed to appear for sentencing after being convicted of offenses ranging from dumping hazardous materials to smuggling of ozone-depleting substances.
“Those who are charged with violating the law must have their guilt or innocence determined in a court of law,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in an EPA press release.
“The public can help EPA achieve its mission by reporting any information they have on Mr. Abuteir or other fugitives.”
If you spot the suspect or any other person on the EPA's Most Wanted List, don't play Captain Planet and attempt a citizen's arrest. The EPA warns that some fugitives may be armed and dangerous. Report the sighting to your local police or submit a report at EPA.gov/fugitives.
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