Wasatch Railroad Contractors and its CEO 47-year-old John Rimmasch of Cheyenne, recently appeared for sentencing before Federal District Judge Alan B. Johnson. A federal jury in Wyoming found both Wasatch Railroad Contractors and Rimmasch guilty on five counts of wire fraud and once count of knowing endangerment for knowingly exposing employees to asbestos and placing them in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. 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. Rimmasch is the founder and owner of Wasatch and served as its Chief Executive Officer.
The case began after Wasatch and its owner, 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. Through directives of Rimmasch, Wasatch invoiced the National Park Service certifying that it performed the asbestos abatement pursuant to the contract, knowing full well it had not.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Johnson found that Rimmasch attempted to obstruct justice by presenting a fraudulent exhibit at the jury trial and abused his position of trust during the commission of the crimes. Rimmasch was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 30 months and three years of supervised release on each count to run concurrently. Rimmasch was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,428 and a special assessment of $600. Wasatch Railroad Contractors, now defunct, was ordered to pay a special assessment of $2,400.
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