Three Trash-Hauling Firms Charged with Plotting to Fix Prices
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Three waste-hauling companies and five of their officials conspired to fix prices for disposal of solid waste in Los Angeles County for years, the district attorney said Tuesday.
The companies and individuals charged Monday could be fined up to $1 million if convicted, said District Attorney Ira Reiner.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendants unlawfully conspired to divide the market for disposal of commercial solid waste and to fix prices for the service.
″This is a pervasive and longstanding illegal practice we have in Southern California in the trash-hauling industry,″ Reiner said.
The complaint names Waste Management of California Inc., Western Waste Industries and Angeles Hudson Inc.
Also charged were Wiley Scott, 32, of Pasadena, a Waste Management official; Clifford Chamblee, 63, of Lakewood, a former Waste Management official; Ishkan Gordian, 43, of Glendale and George Osepian, 68, of Torrance, both officials of Western Waste; and John Marderosian, 54, of Reseda, an official of System Disposal Service Inc.
Osepian and Marderosian both said they were unaware of the criminal charges and refused comment. The other defendants could not be reached.
Waste Management Inc., a 15-year-old Illinois-based company, reported revenues of $1.5 billion in 1986 from solid waste services.
Western Waste, based in Gardena, reported record revenues of $47.4 million for the first half of fiscal 1987. The company was charged in March with hiding hazardous waste in household trash and dumping it illegally in three Los Angeles County landfills.