A Michigan exporter of used computer parts and its owner have been sentenced for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services and violating environmental laws.
U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson sentenced Mark Jeffrey Glover to 30 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, and his company, Discount Computers, a $2 million fine with $10,839 in restitution to the Michigan landlord, for trafficking in counterfeit goods and services. DCI was also sentenced for storing and disposing of hazardous waste without a permit.
DCI, headquartered in Canton, Mich., with warehouses in Maryland Heights, Mo., and Dayton, N.J., operated as a broker of used electronic components, and a substantial portion of its business was exporting cathode ray tube monitors to the Middle East and Asia.
Because Egypt prohibits the importation of computer equipment which is more than five years old, all three DCI locations replaced the original factory labels on used cathode ray tube monitors with counterfeit labels to show a more recent manufacture date, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Over a five-year period, DCI sent at least 300 shipments to Egypt, with a total value of at least $2.1 million, constituting more than 100,000 used CRT monitors.
Older CRT monitors must be disposed of as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The EPA noted the potential harm from the defendant’s actions: “By exporting older CRTs with fraudulent manufacture dates, Mark Jeffrey Glover sent a large quantity of older e-waste overseas which was subjected to improper recycling, increasing the potential for environmental and human exposure to hazardous materials.”
“EPA is committed to taking action on illegal exports of e-waste because they often end up in countries that lack the capacity to manage them safely,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a written statement. “Today’s sentence, the first in an e-waste case, should serve as a warning that if you are caught illegally exporting hazardous e-waste for profit, there will be serious consequences.”