WASHINGTON, D.C. Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff of the Criminal Division and United States Attorney Donald W. Washington of the Western District of Louisiana announced today that a criminal information was filed in federal court in Lafayette, La., charging a former corporate official of USA Waste Services, Inc., and three other individuals with conspiracy to commit securities fraud involving insider trading.

USA Waste Services, Inc., was a Delaware corporation headquartered in Houston, Texas and was one of the largest integrated, nonhazardous solid waste companies in North America. In 1998 it acquired American Waste Services, Inc., and later merged and became known as Waste Management Inc. As charged in the information, William A. Rothrock, 50, former Senior Vice President and head of acquisitions at USA Waste Services, Inc., and a resident of Houston, Texas, routinely had access to confidential, non-public information about USA Waste’s business acquisitions, including USA Waste’s acquisition of American Waste Services, Inc.

According to the information, co-conspirators Logan L. Nichols, 54, a resident of Jennings, Louisiana; Glenn A. Oakes, 68, a resident of the state of Florida; and W. Gregory Orr, 47, a resident of Houston, Texas, fraudulently enriched themselves by obtaining thousands of dollars from the purchase and sale of stock based on the stolen, misappropriated nonpublic information they obtained from co-conspirator Rothrock.

The criminal information alleges that on Feb. 4 and 5, 1998, Rothrock misappropriated and stole material, nonpublic information about USA Waste’s plans to acquire American Waste and disclosed that confidential information to co-conspirators Nichols, Oakes, and Orr prior to American Waste’s Feb. 6, 1998, public announcement of its acquisition by USA Waste, Inc. Based on Rothrock’s tip, Nichols, Oakes, and Orr purchased thousands of shares of American Waste and sold their shares afterwards, realizing profits of $179, 850, $175, 940, and $31, 875 respectively.

“Those who exploit inside information for their own profit betray corporate investors and erode public confidence in the integrity of the marketplace, ” said Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff. “Working with the SEC, our continued vigorous prosecution of these and other corporate abuse cases is designed to sanction those individuals whose greed harms our capital markets.”

This matter was referred to the Fraud Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which had previously settled a civil action against Rothrock, Nichols, Oakes, Orr, and others. That SEC action resulted in their consent to a permanent injunction enjoining each of them from further securities violations, civil money penalties, and disgorgement of trading profits. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Lafayette, Louisiana Resident Agency. The prosecution is being handled by Fraud Section Trial Attorney Adrian D. Mebane and Assistant United States Attorney John Luke Walker.