Materials Testing Laboratories
OIG continued to work as part of an investigative task force with the New York County District Attorney, the New York City Department of Investigation, the Inspector General of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and others. The investigation, which began in 2008, has thus far resulted in the indictments of two construction-material testing companies and eight of their employees, for various crimes related to the testing of building materials.
In 2010, a jury convicted one of the testing companies and two of its principals, the President/CEO and the Vice President in charge of the Engineering department, of Enterprise Corruption and other crimes. The principals were sentenced to indeterminate state prison terms having maximums of 21 and 18 years respectively, and the president and the company were further ordered to pay approximately $2 million in total restitution. That amount included restitution to the MTA for almost 90 percent of its out-of-pocket expenses for re-testing and remediation. Additionally, a professional engineer employed by the lab pleaded guilty to Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, all felonies, and was placed on probation for five years, forced to pay forfeiture of more than $138,000, and had his Professional Engineer’s license revoked.
As to the indictment of a second company and its laboratory director, in 2010 the company and its director each pleaded guilty to a class E felony charged in the indictment.
Further, in 2010 the efforts of the task force resulted in the execution of four additional search warrants on other materials testing companies. The joint investigation is continuing.
Meanwhile, throughout the investigative process we monitor efforts by the MTA Office of Construction Oversight, NYC Transit, Capital Construction and Bridges and Tunnels to identify projects for which the testing companies were engaged, so that the agencies could promptly examine critical areas with potential safety implications and conduct appropriate retesting. We also cause the affected MTA agencies to re-evaluate and revise the Quality Assurance methods they employ with respect to materials testing laboratories.