Construction worker, SAFETY SCHOOL

‘Safety School’ Gave Bogus Certifications To Thousands Of NYC Construction Workers

Prosecutors charged Valor Security and Investigations for running a fraudulent safety school that falsely certified construction workers.

ABC News reports that a shocking case unfolded in New York as prosecutors charged Valor Security and Investigations and six of its executives with allegedly running a fraudulent safety school that falsely certified thousands of construction workers as adequately trained. The alleged scheme, uncovered by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is believed to have resulted in severe consequences, including at least one fatality.

Ivan Frias lost his life in 2022 after falling from the 15th floor of a construction site on the Upper West Side. The indictment reveals that Valor Security and Investigations allegedly claimed to have trained 20,000 construction workers between December 2019 and April 2023, asserting they were fully trained in safety aspects after 40 hours of instruction. However, prosecutors argue that the company issued “thousands and thousands of safety certificates and cards without providing any training at all,” charging fees ranging from $300 to $600 for the fraudulent site safety training cards.

“Fraud has dire consequences. Fraud can mean life or death,” warned Bragg, emphasizing the gravity of the situation, especially in an industry where safety is paramount. Construction workers have been mandated by law to undergo safety training since 2017.

The charges include enterprise corruption for Valor Security and Investigations, its president, Alexander Shaporov, and five other employees. Nineteen alleged brokers, including two master plumbers, face charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument, which led to the suspension of the plumbers’ licenses.

Prosecutors revealed evidence, including text messages and emails allegedly quoting Shaporov instructing his employees to “make one up” for 40 trainees lacking the required safety cards. The indictment cites the case of Ivan Frias, where Valor allegedly falsely certified that Frias had completed 10 hours of safety training, including eight hours of fall protection.

New York City Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo expressed outrage, stating, “I think every New Yorker has a right to be a little disgusted.” The department is considering revoking Valor’s license to issue safety cards. Oddo urged construction workers who received cards from Valor to seek retraining, highlighting the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with fraudulent certifications.

All defendants were arrested Wednesday morning, with court appearances expected later that day.

RELATED CONTENT: Urban Business Roundtable Spotlight: Construction Company CEO Mamon Powers Jr.