De Jong to Serve 5 Months in Prison

The Diamond Environmental Services owner receives his sentence for illegally dumping waste and avoiding millions in fees

De Jong to Serve 5 Months in Prison

If Arie Eric De Jong III, thought writing a hefty check to pay off his fines for illegal waste dumping would satisfy courts after pleading guilty last year to felony charges, he was mistaken.

Last week De Jong, owner of Diamond Environmental Services based in San Marcos, California, was ordered to report to federal prison on July 6 to begin a five-month sentence. He also will be required to pay a $15,000 fine and serve three years’ probation.

De Jong’s charges are related to several years of illegal dumping of septic waste directly into municipal sewer systems in several Southern California cities, avoiding millions of dollars in disposal fees at designated dumping facilities.

The company’s chief operating officer, Warren Van Damn, also admitted to the illegal dumping charges and received five years’ probation and 250 hours of community service.

The company also pleaded guilty in the case and was sentenced to five years’ probation. The three defendants combined were ordered to pay a fine of $2.64 million, as well as $2.25 million in restitution to five different sanitation agencies. The company also forfeited $2.2 million in illegal profits.

Under De Jong’s plea he agreed to in 2017, he could have been sentenced to 30 months or more by Judge Roger T. Benitez. The prosecution sought 12 months. De Jong told the judge before his sentencing that he was sorry for his crimes. 

“It was a huge mistake,” De Jong says. “I made a mistake I never thought would get to this level.”

Judge Benitez decided that a five-month sentence was fair. “Custodial time is necessary in order for people to understand you can’t be doing this sort of thing and come in and expect to write a check,” he tells De Jong.

A third company executive, safety and compliance manager Ronald Fabor, was convicted last year on two counts of perjury for lying about the illegal dumping and was previously sentenced to five years probation and fined $500.



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