HARRISBURG — Two Luzerne County women are among six family members and six family businesses that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane charged with numerous counts of insurance fraud and theft on Friday.
Kane announced that her office’s investigation into environmental crimes allegedly committed by Minuteman and its owner, Brian Bolus, also revealed multiple conspiracies among Bolus, his mother, two siblings, his father and his father’s fiancée to commit insurance fraud, resulting in multiple charges.
A statewide investigating grand jury recommended criminal charges being filed.
The investigation began with allegations that Minuteman (Minuteman Towing Inc., Minuteman Spill Response Inc. and Minuteman Environmental Services Inc.) and Brian Bolus unlawfully disposed of and/or buried solid waste into the ground, and also disposed of waste from well drilling operations onto the ground.
In addition to violating state environmental laws, the grand jury found that Brian Bolus and Minuteman overbilled every business with which they contracted by at least one hour per invoice, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Kane said her office also discovered that several Bolus family members were on the payroll either at Minuteman or Bolus Truck Parts and Towing Services Inc., which is owned by Robert Bolus Sr.
The grand jury found that siblings Robert “Bobby” Bolus Jr. and Debra Bolus, mother Julie Bolus and Sophie Gregory, the elder Bolus’s fiancée, were ghost employees and that they conspired together to be eligible for group health insurance. As a result, the half-million dollars in claims they are accused of submitting increased health care premiums for all Minuteman and Bolus Truck Parts employees.
Many current and former Minuteman employees testified that they believed they would have been fired if they if they did not follow Brian Bolus’s demands to overbill companies and put his family members on the payroll.
Brian Bolus reaped significant financial benefits from the crimes he is accused of committing. His assets include a $1.4 million-home in Lewisburg, a vacation home in Park City, Utah valued at $2.4 million and a company spill response truck outfitted for family occupancy. If convicted of all 64 charges, he faces a maximum fine of nearly $1.4 million.
All of the family businesses are located either in Milton, Northumberland County; or Throop, Lackawanna County.
The family members from Luzerne County are Mountain Top residents Julie Bolus, 71, 6 Pleasant View Drive, and Debra Bolus, 50, 125 Kestrel Road. Both were charged with 16 counts of insurance fraud; 12 counts of theft by deception; four counts of criminal conspiracy; four counts of criminal use of a communication facility; two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.
Family members facing identical charges are Robert Bolus Sr., 71, currently incarcerated in the Lackawanna County Prison on charges from a separate OAG insurance fraud investigation; Robert “Bobby” Bolus Jr., 48, Bloomsburg; and Sophie Gregory, 50, Bradenton, Florida.
Brian Bolus, 43, of Lewisburg, Union County, was hit with identical charges plus seven counts of unlawful conduct; seven counts of criminal conspiracy - unlawful conduct; one additional count of corrupt organizations; one count of dealing in proceeds unlawful activity; one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one count of criminal conspiracy - theft by unlawful taking or disposition; one additional count of theft by deception; one count of receiving stolen property; one count of deceptive or fraudulent business practices; one count of unlawful use of a computer; and four additional counts of criminal conspiracy.
The case will be prosecuted in Union County.