A man who defrauded the state for environmental work he didn’t complete will have to repay the $1.6 million he falsely claimed. Kurt Hayden pled guilty Friday to a felony count of filing a false claim with the State Water Resources Control Board’s Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund.
As part of the plea deal, charges against Hayden’s wife, Julie Hayden, were dismissed, as was a civil suit filed against the couple and their business. The two ran Hayden Environmental, Inc., a Santa Barbara-based company. According to authorities, the Haydens lied on invoices submitted to the Cleanup Fund for sites in and around Santa Barbara. State authorities said the couple billed for hours not worked and equipment never used, and that they received payments they were not entitled to.
In addition to the order to repay $1.6 million, Hayden was sentenced to 180 days in County Jail and three years of probation. “The result of the Hayden case is a reflection of the Unit’s dedication and commitment to prosecuting individuals committing fraud against the Cleanup Fund,” said Cris Carrigan, director of the Office of Enforcement. “Expect to see more prosecutions in the coming year.”
The Haydens were originally facing charges of grand theft of personal property, presenting a fraudulent claim, and conspiracy to commit a crime.