Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Company Involved in Youngstown Illegal Dumping Files for Bankruptcy

Ben Lupo
By now I'm guessing that all of our readers our aware of the illegal dumping of fracking wastewater into the Mahoning River that took place under the direction of Ben Lupo, owner of Hardrock Excavating and (technically) former CEO of D&L Energy in Youngstown.  In the wake of the news that Lupo had employees dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of waste into a storm sewer, D&L Energy understandably had all of their permits revoked by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

After putting up a brief fight to get permits reinstated for D&L Energy, Lupo and company have now made their latest move.  From Business Journal Daily:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- D&L Energy Inc. and its affiliate, Petroflow Inc., filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday, citing “extensively intertwined … business dealings, accounts and finances” of its officers and business entities, the mounting burden of cleanup and litigation costs, and accusing its former CEO, Ben Lupo, of “improperly divert[ing]” company funds to other businesses he operates.
We've mentioned before that Lupo's name is tied to 20 active businesses, five cancelled businesses, and five that were declared dead, and that he was likely to use these active businesses to try and shield himself from the full consequences of his illegal actions.  Sadly, the bankruptcy filing is set to screw over several local companies who were called in to assist with cleanup of the illegal dumping.
In court documents, D&L states it owes more than $5.2 million to its 20 largest creditors.
Topping the list is Sunpro Inc. of North Canton, owed $1.5 million for “cleanup and containment costs related to dumping of fracking wastewater in [the] Mahoning River tributary.” D&L describes Sunpro’s claim as “disputed” along with nearly all claims listed as owed to local businesses. Among them: $357,199.98 to McJunkin Red Man Corp. of Youngstown (trade debt); $631,856.09 to Tom’s Sewer & Drain Service Inc. of Girard (also for cleanup and containment); and $52,635 owed Patriot Water Treatment Inc. of Lisbon for “utility service.” 
D&L previously announced the turning over Ben Lupo's officer and director positions to his wife so that it could claim that it cut ties with him (even though he retained 80% of the company's stock).  The newly appointed CEO, Nick Paparodis, says:
“In addition to the liabilities associated with the cleanup process and the loss of good will,” the affidavit continues, "it has come to D&L’s attention that Faith, Lupo or others may have improperly diverted funds of the debtors to other peripheral business entities owned or operated by one or more of these individuals for little or no consideration.”
Read the entire article here.  Another article on the bankruptcy filing, from the Tribune Chronicle, can be read here.

This whole dumping story is just repulsive.

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