Monday, January 7, 2013

USA v. Charles Yi

Jan 2: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 11-50234. Appealed from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. According to a summary, the Appeals Court affirmed a jury conviction and sentence for conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act arising from the defendant's role as CEO of a real estate development company that contracted to have condominium ceilings scraped and refinished without proper asbestos disposal or notice.
    The panel held that the district court did not err in giving or formulating a deliberate ignorance jury instruction, did not err in applying a sentence enhancement for an offense resulting in substantial likelihood of death or serious bodily injury, and did not err in applying an enhancement for the defendant's role as an organizer or leader.
    Testimony revealed that Yi contracted to have a condominium ceilings scraped and refinished that he knew contained asbestos. The agreed-upon price broke down to $1,500 per unit for the first ten -- less per unit than either the previously rejected bids for asbestos abatement or for installing drywall over the ceilings. The contractor, testified that no one informed him that the ceilings contained asbestos. He hired four or five men to do the scraping. They wore no special clothing to protect against asbestos exposure and only wore white masks. Testimony also said that powdery ceiling material was simply placed into bags and wheelbarrows before being thrown into dumpsters.
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Toxics, CA9]
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