Apr 15, 2010 1:17 PM by Greg Boyce

Man indicted in asbestos scam

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Thursday that attorneys from the Criminal Justice Section have secured an indictment from the Statewide Grand Jury against a Parker man suspected of contributing to the release of a hazardous substance by misleading state officials.

According to the indictment, Michael Merit, 45, falsely claimed to be a certified asbestos inspector between November 2007 and January 2008 in order to obtain work in connection with the demolition of a mobile home park in Elizabeth, Colorado. Once hired by the demolition company, Merit is suspected of performing the wrong tests to determine if asbestos was present in the mobile homes. Merit is then suspected of delivering the improper test results to the demolition company, which used them to apply for a demolition permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

According to the five-count indictment, the demolition company, the Resource Center, leveled three mobile homes, which resulted in the airborne release of asbestos. Following a tip, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment tested demolition site and determined that asbestos levels at levels high enough to pose a substantial threat to human health and the environment.

Prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General will present its case in Elbert County District Court.








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