Two Men Charged for Failing to Fulfill Contracts to Incinerate Medical Waste in Osceola

JULY 13, 2005 - Posted at 4:55 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A federal grand jury for Arkansas' Eastern District today a returned a 44-count indictment charging two men with multiple counts, including mail fraud and wire fraud, relating to allegations that the men failed to fulfill contracts to incinerate industrial and medical waste in Osceola.

Wally El-Beck, 60, of Springfield, Illinois, and Moumen Kuziez, 58, are named in the indictments.  El-Beck is named in all 44 counts, and Kuziez in twelve counts.  Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The indictment alleges that El-Beck did business under various names, including Arkansas Municipal Waste to Energy, Inc.; Medical Waste Management; MWM; and Waste-to-Energy, Osceola.  He leased an incinerator from the City of Osceola for the purpose of operating it for the disposal of industrial waste from third party industrial clients.  Kuziez is alleged to have been active in the management and daily operations of El-Beck's incinerator operations.

The indictment describes a scheme in which the defendants would solicit industrial customers to bring truckloads, usually 80 drums per load, for incineration.  The customer would subsequently receive invoices and a "certificate of destruction" certifying that the waste had been properly incinerated.  The drums were not all actually destroyed, however, and were accumulating in El-Beck's warehouses.  Upon discovery of the alleged deception, the various customers ultimately took responsibility for the proper disposal of the drums filled with waste, and the clean-up of the warehouses where they had been wrongfully stored, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

The wire fraud and mail fraud charges relate to the use of the mails and banking systems for the invoicing and payments for the incineration jobs that were not being performed.

The case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.