Watch CBS News

Manhattan DA says company gave out thousands of construction safety cards and certificates without providing training

NYC company accused of providing construction safety certificates without training
NYC company accused of providing construction safety certificates without training 02:30

NEW YORK -- In a new indictment, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office says a company churned out thousands of construction safety certificates to paying customers, without actually training those construction workers.

Prosecutors told CBS New York investigative reporter Tim McNicholas the scheme may have had deadly consequences.

Construction worker Ivan Frias fell from the 15th floor of an Upper West Side building and died in November of 2022. Prosecutors say a company called Valor Security and Investigations had filed paperwork with the city's Department of Buildings, stating Valor trained Frias, 36, on fall prevention for eight hours.

But investigators now say Valor hadn't actually trained him at all.

"And in an industry like this, fraud has dire consequences. Indeed, fraud can mean life or death," DA Alvin Bragg said.

Now, a wide-ranging indictment accuses company leaders of a "scheme to churn out thousands of safety cards and certificates to paying customers without actually providing training."

"I think every New Yorker has a right to be a little bit disgusted," DOB Commissioner James Oddo said.

Prosecutors say Alexander Shaporov, Valor's president, at one point emailed his staff about safety certification cards and wrote "Whoever doesn't have OSHA, MAKE ONE UP."

Investigators say a man also texted Richard Marini, Valor's training director, "How fast could you get me a 40-hour, Richard, if I ordered today?"

"Tomorrow after 5 p.m.," came the reply.

"You can't do 40 hours of training in under 24 hours," Bragg said.

The commissioner of the city's Department of Investigations said she sent a series of recommendations to the DOB aimed at preventing similar schemes.

Prosecutors say Valor issued safety cards to about 20,000 people in the last five years.

"Our message to anyone who has received an SST card from this training provider is to immediately get retrained," Oddo said.

An attorney for Valor's training director, Richard Marini, also returned a call to CBS New York on Wednesday evening and said he wants to learn more about the context of that text exchange that prosecutors mentioned. He also said he plans on defending Marini vigorously.

Prosecutors also charged 19 people, including a NYCHA foreman, with acting as brokers or connecting people with that company.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.