Detroit demolition probe leads to charges for former subcontractor
The head of an asbestos removal company in southeast Michigan that worked on subcontractors for the Detroit Land Bank Authority is facing multiple crimes related to alleged bribes and violations, the attorney general said Tuesday.
Kevin Woods, 50, of Harrison Township, who is listed as the president of BBEK Environmental in Warren, called in on Tuesday at the Michigan State Police’s Metro South Post in Taylor. He is due to be tried in Warren’s 37th District Court Wednesday on:
• Four cases of $ 100,000 false deception, a 20 year crime
• A false scam count between $ 1,000 and $ 20,000, a five year crime
• A count of money laundering, a 10 year crime
• A bribe count by an agent or employee, a year long offense
In 2019, Woods was suspended from contracts with the Detroit Land Bank Authority and working in the city after officials identified a potential conflict of interest.
The charges announced on Tuesday stem from an investigation by the US attorney general into Troubled Asset Relief Program funds for the demolition of the Detroit Land Bank. During the investigation, “it became known that Woods had paid Aradondo inappropriately to Haskins to obtain contracts with Haskins’ former employer, Adamo Group,” a regional demolition company that worked for the Detroit Land Bank Authority and was subcontracted to BBEK Attorney General, hired office said.
Investigators allege BBEK was often tapped into mitigation measures over several suspected bribes from Woods to Haskins was sentenced to prison in 2019 after receiving bribes and rigged offers.
“Woods also found that between at least 2015 and 2019, Woods violated Michigan laws that require abatement companies to be independent of air monitoring companies employed by the abatement company,” state officials said.
Two companies used by BBEK, HC Consulting Services and Green Way Environmental, were operated by Woods, Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office alleges.
“Our asbestos removal control and balancing laws protect public health, and anyone who violates these regulations puts our residents at risk,” Nessel said in a statement.
An investigation into the companies’ finances found Woods has benefited from the operations by up to $ 400,000 since 2015.
“There is no room for corruption in federally funded demolitions as claimed in today’s indictments,” said Christy Goldsmith Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Woods has also reportedly violated the asbestos control company’s licensing law by allegedly falsifying project costs to lower the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs debt, state officials said Tuesday.
Woods “was required by law to transfer 1 percent of the project costs to the asbestos removal fund, but would routinely devalue the project by up to 50 percent to avoid contributing to the fund,” said Nessel’s office.
“A forensic review of Woods’ posts during … 2015-2019 reveals that he defrauded the state of Michigan of approximately $ 26,600 in fees.”
Woods did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.