El-Beck Found Guilty in Osceola Environmental Waste Case

OCTOBER 23, 2006 - Posted at 7:44 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Wally El-Beck, 61, of Springfield, Missouri has been found guilty after a trial by jury of 37 counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, El-Beck leased an industrial waste incinerator from the city of Osceola to incinerate medical and industrial waste.  The truckloads of waste would be delivered in large drums to the incinerator at Osceola.  El-Beck represented to customers through Certificates of Destruction that their waste was being incinerated when in fact, he was accumalating the waste in warehouses.  Over 13,000 drums were discovered by the Arkansas Dept. of Environmental Quality.  This was reported immediately to the EPA and El-Beck's permit to incinerate was revoked.  Because the waste had not been destroyed as previously represented by El-Beck, the customers were required, at additional expense, to re-claim the waste and have it destroyed elsewhere.  Over $4 million has been spent thus far from the EPA Superfund to clean up this site, in addition to the more than $1 million spent by the victim companies who had paid El-Beck to incinerate their waste.

El-Beck is subject to a potential statutory penalty of not more than 20 years and/or $250,000 for each of the 37 mail fraud counts and the wire fraud count.  The actual sentence will be determined at a future date.