Pest control company pleads guilty to misapplying poison and cover-up in nursing homes

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The owner of a pest control company has pleaded guilty to endangering nursing home residents by improperly applying a pesticide and engaging in a cover-up, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

Steven A. Murray and his company, Bio-Tech Management Inc., both are guilty parties per the plea agreement, according to federal authorities. Murray, 54, admitted that Bio-Tech employees regularly applied Termidor indoors at Georgia nursing homes between 2005 and 2009, even though the manufacturer's labeling specified that Termidor should be used only outdoors.

At Murray's instruction, Bio-Tech employees then altered documentation to obstruct a Georgia Department of Agriculture investigation into the matter, according to the plea agreement.

DOJ officials did not provide details of the agreement, but Murray had been facing potentially stiff penalties. These included possible fines and prison time for mail fraud because Bio-Tech billed the nursing homes for the inappropriate services through the U.S. mail.

A trial in the case had been scheduled to begin last week. A sentencing hearing now will take place June 11, according to local news sources.

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