Testwell Reincarnated: Manhattan DA Declares War on Construction Industry & American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories

After a string of high profile defeats, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is going back to the well with the hope that a tested formula will deliver a conviction to public eyes. Like its predecessors, Testwell Laboratories and V. Reddy Kancharla, American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories Inc. (ATSC), along with its president Alan Fortich, was indicted by a New York Grand Jury and charged with Enterprise Corruption, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. Additionally, professional engineers Michael Rabkin, Shamim Akond, Richard Kasparian and Bruce Pumo were also charged in the extensive indictment. A “B” felony, Enterprise Corruption is punishable by up to 25 years in state prison for a first time offender while each of the other crimes are “E” felonies punishable by up to four years in prison.

Replicating the factual allegations and ultimate conviction against the Testwell group, Manhattan prosecutors claim that ATSC fudged, altered and manipulated lab results concerning concrete used in numerous public and private jobs. In fact, the indictment alleges that the defendants “regularly skipped vital safety tests and created false reports to create the impression that the tests were performed.” Of great concern for prosecutors is that the buildings where the concrete was poured include such iconic and critical New York venues and structures such as Yankee Stadium, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Javits Center, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and even sections of the Second Avenue Subway. Additionally, ATSC, Fortich and others are alleged to have filed false documents not only associated with testing procedures, but also with government agencies as to eligibility for certain programs. According to DA Vance, Fortich defrauded the “MTA through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (“DBE”) program…designed to help businesses owned by women or a member of a designated minority group” by falsifying the paperwork that was the foundation of eligibility.

Whether ATSC and the individual defendants are convicted or end up in state prison like the construction defendants before them, time will tell. Regardless, it is clear that the construction industry, and the alleged fraud that surrounds it, has drawn the ire of Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

To learn more about the crimes of Enterprise Corruption, Falsifying Business Records and Offering a False Instrument for Filing, please follow the highlighted links. Moreover, a review of the New York Criminal Lawyer BlogTe and search for these crimes will reveal legal analysis of these statutes as well as court decisions and other cases in the news.

Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors who served under Robert Morgenthau, Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm representing those accused of crimes throughout the New York City region.

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