Men accused of failing to disclose lead paint to home buyers

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- Federal grand jurors have accused two St. Louis-area men of failing to disclose the presence of lead-based paint to buyers of two homes and of falsifying related documents, the government said Tuesday.

Thomas E. Sailor, 62, of O'Fallon, and Marco Webster, 49, of St. Louis, were both indicted on one felony count making or using false documents and one misdemeanor count of violating the federal Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Act.

The two men, expected to appear in federal court later this week, face up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines on the felony count, if convicted.

The indictment alleges that Sailor and Webster failed to tell buyers that the homes had been found to contain lead-based paint hazards. Instead, they allegedly falsified a "disclosure form" suggesting they had no such knowledge.

"Lead paint contamination can be a significant health hazard and has been a problem in St. Louis," U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender said. "The law requires property sellers to make full and honest disclosures about the existence of lead paint contamination to potential buyers."

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