Prison sentence for Wood Dale soap salesman

 
 
Updated 6/27/2012 6:02 PM
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A Wood Dale man received a nine-month prison sentence for essentially pouring tax dollars down the drain.

Nicholas Peregonow, 67, was charged two years ago with defrauding the U.S. Postal Service by dumping truck-washing soap he had sold the agency down sewer drains. He was ordered to begin serving the sentence July 31. He will also serve an additional five months of home confinement upon his release from prison during his two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to repay the federal government $102,510, representing the value of the soap that was dumped.

Peregonow pleaded guilty to mail fraud and theft of government funds in January.

Peregonow was a salesman for an Elgin-based company that supplied the soap to the Chicago post office vehicle facility. Investigators were notified of Peregonow's misdeeds in 2009 by a truck driver who spotted the salesman dumping soap down sewer drains near the main postal facility in Chicago, where the agency's vehicles are cleaned and stored.

Between October 2009 and June 2010, Peregonow opened valves on 270-gallon soap containers and allowed soap to flow down drains.

By shorting the orders to the post office, the agency was forced to buy more soap, which increased commissions for Peregonow, authorities said.

Federal environmental protection agents said the illegal dumping also posed a risk to wildlife and could have damaged water treatment equipment.

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