Harrison Township man hit with bribery, money laundering charges for illegal asbestos work

A Harrison Township man has been charged with several felonies for misrepresenting project costs and bribery while operating an asbestos abatement company.

Kevin Woods faces financial penalties of up to $100,000 and several decades in prison after he allegedly laundered money from subcontracting jobs for home demoltion with Detroit Land Bank Authority. 

In addition to bribing an employee of a major demolition contractor in Southeast Michigan for contracts, he violated state law when employees from an air monitoring firm he also owned did follow-up work on houses where he had removed asbestos, earning him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"While the complexities of this alleged financial crime cannot go unnoticed, I am grateful for the thorough work performed by my prosecutors and those at the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program," Nessel said. 

Woods, 50, who ran BBEK Environmental, an asbestos abatement firm out of Warren, was first suspended from performing work with the city of Detroit in July of 2019. However, he signed onto contracts with the city as far back as 2015.

Over the next four years, BBEK was frequently selected to do abatement work for Adamo Group after Woods bribed Aradondo Haskins - an employee of the firm - which allowed Woods to ontain contracts.

After abatement was completed, air monitoring companies HC Consulting Services and Green Way Environmental both conducted post-work checks on quality. Both firms are also owned by Woods and netted him $400,000 in profits. 

However, state law requires any post-abatement air quality checks be done by an independent third-party separate from the subcontractor. Woods violated that rule for years. 

"The law requiring that air quality monitors must be independent from those who remove asbestos and other hazardous materials is critical to protecting the health and safety of Michigan communities. SIGTARP commends Michigan Attorney General Nessel for standing with us to charge this alleged violation of this law combined with bribery," said Christy Goldsmith Romero, the special inspector general for TARP.

Additionally, Woods allegedly falsified project costs that reduced the amount of money he owed the state's licensing agency. He was required to submit 1% of project costs to the asbestos abatement fund per the Asbestos Abatement Contractor’s Licensing Act, but instead devalued the projects he worked on by as much as 50% to avoid paying. 

A forensic review of the crimes found he cheated the state out of $26,000 in fees.

Woods turned himself into authorities Tuesday and was arraigned on charges Wednesday morning. They include:

  • Four counts of false pretenses over $100,000, a 20-year felony; 
  • One count of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000, a five-year felony;
  • One count of money laundering, a 10-year felony; and
  • One count of bribery of an agent or employee, a one-year misdemeanor

Haskins, who took bribes from Woods was federally charged for rigging bids to another contractor. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services fraud. He has since served prison time.