The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday charged a Boston waste removal firm with making illegal payments to government officials in Massachusetts and Ohio. The agency also accused the former president of the firm with diverting nearly $4 million in company funds for personal use.
Named in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court here were SCA Services, Inc., and its former president, Christopher B. Recklitis. Also named were Carlton Hotel Corp., which is owned primarily by Recklitis, and four former SCA officers - Berton Steir, Nicholas V. Liakas, Anthony Bentrovato (alias Anthony Bentro) and Stanton L. Kurman - who allegedly assisted in either the playoffs or the diversion of company funds.
A spokesman for SCA said none of the people named in the SEC action are still associated with the firm. Asked if the government's investigation had been the cause for their departure, the spolesman said, "It was part of the negotiations and a settlement which was reached one year ago."
The complaint said SCA illegally contributed $1,000 to an unnamed state political candidate in Massschusetts in August 1974. The SEC said Liakas, former northeast regional controller for SCA, made the contribution at the request of Reclitis. The payment, the commission said, was falsely recorded in SCA's books as additional compensation to Liakas.
In a second alleged payment, the SEC said SCA paid $16,000 to two trustees in the township of Miami, Ohio. The money, which the SEC said was paid in the form of a cashier's check purchased by one of SCA's subsidiaries, was to encourage the officials to vote for renewal of a $425,000 waste removal contract. The contract, however, was not renewed.
"SCA has paid other gratuities and bribes to obtain contracts and to obtain permission to use property owned by SCA for landfill," the complaint said. But the commission gave no further details of these alleged payments.
The complaint alleged that Recklitis diverted nearly $4 million in SCA assets to theCarlton Hotel Corp. and to himself through cash advances which were never disclosed to SCA's shareholders. These transactions occured between 1972 and 1976, the SEC said.
The agency also listed three allegedly fraudulent land transactions in which Recklitis is said to have acquired properties in Amesbury, mass., and Utica, N.Y., then resold them to SCA at values inflated by about $2.5 million. This money, the SEC charged, was used by Recklitis to pay off his personal debts and the debts of his hotel company.