Wisconsin man convicted of trying to refine gold

The Associated Press

Wisconsin man convicted of trying to refine gold

By The Associated Press. CREATED Apr 27, 2012

MADISON- An Altoona man has been convicted of using acid to refine gold in the woods.

Twenty-four-year-old Matthew Hagen pleaded guilty Thursday to disposing of hazardous waste without a license and failing to submit a hazardous waste report in a deal with prosecutors.

Judge Paul Lentz sentenced Hagen to four months in jail and three years on probation. Lentz also ordered him to pay a $100 fine and $4,187 in restitution.

Investigators said in a criminal complaint that Hagen ran the lab in the woods in Eau Claire in 2009. He placed scrap metal he took from his job at Hutchinson Technology, Inc., in buckets of acid, strained out the gold and then poured the acid on the ground. One batch earned him $4,000.

Hagen's attorney didn't immediately return a message.