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Contractor gets up to 3 years in jail for hiring cooks, bellhops to pose as safety managers

Building contractor Richard Marini has been jailed for faking construction safety inspections and New York City work sites.

Photo by Stephen Rush/ Flickr
Photo by Stephen Rush/ Flickr

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced yesterday (Tuesday) th the 61-year-old principal of Avanti Building Consultants has been sentenced to 1-to-3 years in state prison.

Marini and his company were previously indicted along with six other individuals and one company following an investigation into construction site safety fraud that was referred to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office by the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI).

On October 19, 2015, Marini pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and, to date, all of the defendants indicted in connection with this investigation have been convicted of various related crimes.

“All too often, lapses in safety procedure only become apparent after a tragedy occurs,” said District Attorney Vance.

“As a result of Richard Marini’s criminal conduct, more than 40 active construction sites were left unsupervised and unchecked by qualified inspectors. Fortunately, the fraud was uncovered before anyone was harmed.

“Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those who might seek to cut corners in order to turn a quick profit in this real estate market: My Office’s Rackets Bureau and our partners at DOI will continue to hold individuals and companies accountable for fraud committed at construction sites.

“Last year, my Office announced the formation of the Construction Fraud Task Force to investigate and enforce similar criminal conduct, and I thank our partners for their continued commitment to ensuring that workers and City residents are protected from harm.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Marini managed a consulting company which purported to offer the services of licensed site safety managers to conduct inspections at construction sites throughout New York City.

However, instead of assigning qualified managers to assess site safety conditions, Marini used Craigslist and similar recruitment sites to find other individuals to do the jobs, despite the fact that none of these individuals were properly licensed or qualified to conduct site safety inspections.

He hired short order cooks, window treatment specialists, hotel bellhops, hairdressers, eBay vendors, and even a musician, and instructed them to go to job sites and sign the safety logs in their own names or in the names of licensed site safety managers that MARINI provided.

Many of the licensed managers were unaware that their names were being used by the defendant, as well as individuals that the defendant claimed were interns for Avanti.

In some instances, so-called interns even signed the name of a deceased site safety manager in a construction site safety log.

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