Man sentenced for failing to remove asbestos and defrauding school

Steve Gonzalez May 27, 2005, 5:12am

Ronald Tenpas

Philip Cohn, 42, of St. Louis, was sentenced before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis, to five years imprisonment and five years’ supervised release.

Cohn pled guilty on Dec. 6, 2004, to three counts of mail fraud, money laundering and violations of the Clean Air Act.

He was also ordered to pay $347,200.38 restitution to East St. Louis School District 189.

Cohn submitted false and sham invoices to School District 189 purportedly for environmental cleanup work at the Clark Middle School site, according to U.S. District Attorney Ronald Tenpas.

Cohn then caused the endorsements of environmental companies to be forged on checks issued from the escrow account, and used the money for personal expenses.

Cohn obtained approximately $350,000 from the escrow account through his criminal conduct. As part of his plea agreement, Cohn agreed to make full restitution to School District 189.

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