St. Louis, MO/January 11, 2018 (STL.News) – Dale Johansen was indicted yesterday on mail fraud charges as part of a scheme to defraud residents of Rogue Creek in Potosi, Missouri.
According to the Indictment, Johansen owned Johansen Consulting Services LLC and was appointed as the receiver for Rogue Creek Utilities, Inc. which provided all sewer, water services and management to Rouge Creek. Rouge Creek was a vacation community containing three lakes located in Potosi and composed of approximately 90 active connections to the drinking water and sewer systems. Johansen’s duties as receiver was to collect samples and provide proper operation at Rogue Creek, including the oversight and maintenance of the water softener system.
On March 9, 2016, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR ) learned that the water softener system at Rogue Creek was not operational and thus for at least six months, the residents were receiving well water that was not treated for lead removal. On March 10, 2016, the water softener system was brought back on-line so that the water was again being treated to remove lead. On March 11, 2016, the MDNR performed testing on the drinking water which resulted three of five samples testing high for lead.
Johansen issued invoices to customers for water services and falsely represented to residents of Rogue Creek that their well water was clean, disinfected and safe for human consumption. He also issued monthly invoices for water services, including the removal of lead in their well water, with the knowledge that the well water was not being treated for lead removal.
“EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division takes any allegations involving a public drinking water system very seriously,” said Justin Oesterreich, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in Missouri. “We will continue to aggressively investigate and seek prosecution of those whose actions put public health at risk.”
Johansen, 63, of Jefferson City, Missouri, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four felony counts of mail fraud.
If convicted, Johansen faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or both on each count. Restitution to the victim is also mandatory. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Assistant United States Attorney Dianna Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.