LEWISBURG -- A well-known Scranton area business man and several members of his family have been hit with theft and fraud charges from the state attorney general's office.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced charges against Minuteman companies and its owner Brian Bolus, along with family members Bob Bolus Sr., Robert Bolus Jr., Debra Bolus, Julie Bolus, and Sophie Gregory.
The attorney general claims Minuteman companies illegally dumped waste products from shale gas drilling and defrauded clients by overbilling.
The charges come after evidence was presented to a statewide grand jury that recommended criminal charges.
Last year, state agents raided Minuteman Environmental Services in Milton, a company that hauls fluid and equipment for the natural gas industry. On Friday, Bolus family members appeared in Union County court to face charges.
Most of the Bolus family members did not have anything to say after they left the Union County Courthouse in Lewisburg but Mountain Top attorney Debra Bolus said she had a lot of comments.
"I'm not going to give them on the advice of my council, but thank you," she said.
Minuteman Environmental Services owner Brian Bolus is charged with insurance fraud. Prosecutors say he and his father, Scranton businessman Bob Bolus Sr. defrauded insurance companies out of a half million dollars.
It was just over one year ago that Minuteman Environmental Services in Milton was raided by the state attorney general's office. Investigators removed dozens of boxes from the facility and questioned employees.
Prosecutors say Minuteman's owner, Brian Bolus, violated the state's clean streams law and solid waste management act, by illegally dumping waste water from well sites.
"They are small-minded, petty, poorly investigated, relying solely on information from a tiny number of disenchanted former employees," said Brian Bolus' attorney Joshua Lock.
The attorney general's office disagrees.
The other four are Brian's brother Bob Bolus Jr., his mother Julie Bolus, his sister Debra Bolus, and his father's fiancée Sophie Gregory. They have been labelled ghost employees of Minuteman or Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Services/
Investigators say these so-called ghost employees were not on the payroll but were listed as employees so they could be on a company's health care plan.
All four are charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud and other charges.
"Mr. Bolus Sr. has nothing whatsoever to do with these companies and he never has. So why he's included in these charges is a mystery," Lock said.
The state attorney general's office says it stands by all of these charges.
As for the future of Minuteman, Brian Bolus' attorney says the Northumberland County company is currently in a reorganization phase after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, but it continues to operate. He is unsure how business will be affected by these charges.
If convicted of all 64 charges, Brian Bolus faces a maximum fine of nearly $1.4 million.