Friday, December 14, 2012

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEAS IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ENTERPRISE CORRUPTION CASE

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the guilty pleas of AMERICAN STANDARD TESTING AND CONSULTING LABORATORIES (ASTC), its owner, ALAN FORTICH, 44, and five other defendants for falsifying concrete testing and inspection reports. ALAN and ALVARO FORTICH also pleaded guilty to manipulating government programs to obtain jobs for which they were otherwise ineligible.

“As we have made clear many times, falsifying construction safety tests is unacceptable conduct,” said District Attorney Vance. “These defendants not only cheated their clients, but also jeopardized the public’s safety. Fortunately, the crimes were discovered and tests were conducted to ensure the structural integrity of the buildings in question. We will continue to root out those who put the public at risk for their own personal gain.”

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas, ASTC was hired by contractors, engineers, architects, and others to perform tests and inspections relating to the strength and quality of concrete, as mandated by the New York City Building Code. For more than 10 years, the defendants submitted thousands of false test reports, regularly skipping vital safety tests and creating false reports to create the impression that the tests were performed.

During the same period, ASTC lied about its credentials in order to obtain licenses from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) it was otherwise not entitled to obtain, and also about its small business qualifications to obtain work it was otherwise not eligible to perform. During the time period covered by the plea, ASTC falsified testing on both private and public projects.

In each case, additional steps were taken to ensure the safety and stability of the project.

The victims of ASTC’s fraud include:

the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and its associated agencies (New York City Transit, Bridges and Tunnels, MetroNorth, and Capital Construction)
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ)
the New York City Department of Design and Construction
the New York City School Construction Authority
the New York City Department of Buildings
numerous private owners and engineers

This case was the result of an investigation by the District Attorney’s Rackets Bureau and the Inspectors General of PANYNJ, DOB, the MTA, and the NYC Department of Investigation into criminal activities in New York City’s construction industry. The investigation involved the analysis of thousands of documents, computer forensics, and the execution of nearly a dozen search warrants.

Senior Investigative Counsel Diana Florence and Assistant District Attorney Anne Ternes of the District Attorney’s Rackets Bureau prosecuted this case under the supervision of Bureau Chief and Deputy Chief of Investigations Daniel Brownell and Chief of the Labor and Construction Investigations Unit Brenda Fischer. Trial Preparation Assistants Mariangela Perrotta and Katherine Munyan assisted with the investigation, as did Chief Investigator Walter Alexander, and Senior Investigators Terry Quinn and Angel Garcia. Senior Forensic Analyst Selena Ley worked under the supervision of Director Steven Moran, of the District Attorney’s High Technology Analysis Unit.

District Attorney Vance thanked the following agencies: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York City Department of Investigation, New York City Department of Buildings, Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York, and New York City School Construction Authority.

Defendant Information:

AMERICAN STANDARD TESTING AND CONSULTING LABORATORIES
Whitestone, NY

Convicted:

Enterprise Corruption, class B felony, 1 count


ALAN FORTICH, D.O.B. 7/11/67
Whitestone, NY

Convicted:

Enterprise Corruption, class B felony, 1 count


SHAMIM AKOND, D.O.B. 8/1/68
Brooklyn, NY

Convicted:

Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count


RICHARD KASPARIAN, D.O.B. 8/8/39
Manhasset, NY

Convicted:

Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count


BRUCE PUMO, D.O.B. 7/12/53
Bogota, NJ

Conviction:

Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count


MICHAEL RABKIN, D.O.B. 7/13/58
Gouldsboro, PA

Convicted:

Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, class E felony, 1 count


ALVARO FORTICH, D.O.B. 11/19/78
Whitestone, NY

Convicted:

Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree, class A misdemeanor, 1 count

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