CHICAGO — A federal grand jury has indicted the president of an environmental services company for allegedly obstructing an investigation into the grant funding of a hotel demolition project in the Chicago suburb of Harvey, Ill.
CARL FIORAVANTI, 55, of Lansing, Ill., is charged with one count of obstruction of justice, according to an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison. Arraignment in federal court has not yet been scheduled.
According to the indictment, Fioravanti was the president of Alliance Environmental Control, Inc., a Lansing, Ill.-based company that performed asbestos testing and removal services. In 2017, Alliance was hired by the Cook County Land Bank Authority to conduct an asbestos survey in advance of the demolition of the Chicago Park Hotel, commonly known as the “Harvey Hotel,” in Harvey, Ill. The Land Bank Authority had acquired the hotel and intended to use a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to demolish and repurpose the property.
Fioravanti submitted the asbestos survey to the Land Bank Authority in the fall of 2017, stating that asbestos was present on the Harvey Hotel site, the indictment states. Alliance was later hired as a subcontractor on the project by a Chicago-area demolition company that was chosen by the Land Bank Authority to demolish the hotel.
In September 2018, a federal investigation led by HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, and the FBI, probed whether Alliance accurately described the amount of asbestos on the property in its survey to the Land Bank Authority and the amount of asbestos removed from the property in an asbestos waste manifest that Alliance provided to a landfill operator, as well as whether Alliance and the demolition company had received Community Development Block Grant funds to which they were not entitled in connection with the hotel demolition. The indictment alleges that Fioravanti intended to impede, obstruct, and influence the investigation when he responded to a subpoena from HUD-OIG by providing asbestos waste manifests that had been altered to reflect that a different quantity of asbestos was removed from the hotel site and delivered to the landfill.
The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Machelle L. Jindra, Special Agent-in-Charge of HUD-OIG in Chicago, Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, Lisa Matovic, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of EPA-CID, Nic Evans, Special Agent-in Charge of EPA’s Office of Inspector General, Justin Campbell, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and Ruth M. Mendonça, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean Franzblau, Kirsten Moran, and Brian Netols.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.