The former CEO of Wasatch Railroad Contractors, the now-defunct Cheyenne-based railroad equipment restoration company, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for wire fraud and knowingly exposing employees to asbestos, Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Vassallo announced Monday.

Vassallo says the case arose after Wasatch and its founder and owner, John Eldon Rimmasch, entered a contract to restore a historic railcar owned by the National Park Service.

"Wasatch failed to complete the restoration, and in the process, Rimmasch knowingly placed 30 of his employees in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury by exposing them to asbestos without proper safety measures," Vassallo said in a press release.

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"Through directives of its owner, Rimmasch, Wasatch invoiced the National Park Service certifying that it performed the asbestos abatement pursuant to the contract, knowing full well it had not," Vassallo added.

In addition to the prison term, Rimmasch was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,428 and a special assessment of $600, and Wasatch was ordered to pay a special assessment of $2,400.

Rimmasch will be subject to three years of supervised release once he is released from prison.

“Our office will vigorously prosecute those who commit environmental crimes or engage in fraud against the government,” said Vassallo.

“We appreciate the excellent investigative work performed in this case by the United States Department of the Interior, Office of the Inspector General and the United States Environmental Protection Agency," he added.

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