(Cheyenne, WY) – United States Attorney Bob Murray announced today that John Rimmasch, 47, of Cheyenne, and WASATCH RAILROAD CONTRACTORS (“WASATCH”),
incorporated in Wyoming in 2005, were found guilty by a federal jury on five counts of wire fraud and one count of knowing endangerment, according to a release issued by the Department of Justice.
The trial took place April 4 through 13, 2022 before Federal District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson.
Sentencing has been set for July 5, 2022.
Headquartered in Cheyenne, Wasatch also operated a facility in Shoshoni.
The company performed repair and restoration on freight cars and its Wasatch Railroad
Contractors division purported to specialize in restoring historic railroad equipment.
John Eldon Rimmasch is the founder and owner of Wasatch and served as its Chief Executive Officer.
This case arose after Wasatch entered a contract to restore a historic railcar owned by the National Park Service.
Wasatch failed to complete the restoration, and in the process, endangered its employees by exposing them to asbestos without proper safety measures.
Nevertheless, through directives of its owner, John Rimmasch, Wasatch invoiced the National Park Service certifying that it performed the asbestos abatement pursuant to the contract, knowing full well it had not.
The contract also obligated Wasatch to pay Davis Bacon wages to its laborers, which Wasatch failed to do.
Rimmasch, however, directed others to knowingly submit false certified payrolls to the
National Park Service stating his employees were paid the minimum Davis Bacon wage.
Rimmasch knew that compliance with the contract was necessary to receive the $800,000 payment from the National Park Service, which was received.
Wasatch and Rimmasch were indicted on 5 counts of wire fraud for knowingly submitting false invoices and payrolls to the NPS for payment.
Both were also indicted on one count of knowingly releasing asbestos and placing Wasatch’s employees in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.
If convicted on all counts, Rimmasch faces up to 115 years imprisonment and up to $1.5 million in fines, $600 in special assessments and up to three years of supervised release.
Wasatch could face up to $2.25 million in fines.
The crimes were investigated by the United States Department of the Interior, Office of the
Inspector General, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie I. Sprecher and Special Assistant United States Attorney Richard Baird are prosecuting the case.