A home improvement contractor has been charged for allegedly filing false asbestos investigation reports for three building extension projects in Queens as well as a phony license application for his own certification as an asbestos investigator, it was announced.
Say Contractor Faked Asbestos Inspections
Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn identified the suspect as 32-year-old Satroghaun (a.k.a. Ravi) Singh of Jamaica, who was charged in a 40- count indictment obtained by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. The suspect was arrested by DOI agents last Thursday, Aug. 28.
It is alleged that Singh completed the false asbestos investigation reports between November 2007 and March of this year.
According to the commissioner, the investigation stemmed from an anonymous tip to DOI that a former certified asbestos investigator who had previously surrendered his certification to the Department of Environmental Protection was improperly inspecting construction sites in Queens.
The DOI probe revealed that the former inspector was out of the country when two inspections reportedly were conducted and that Singh, his former client, had allegedly used a scanned copy of the former investigator's seal. It is further alleged that he forged the for- mer investigator's signature onto three ACP-5 forms filed with the Department of Buildings.
These forms are designed to signify that a certified asbestos investigator examined a site, sampled and arranged for testing the material as appropriate and found no asbestos, thus clearing the way for the DOB to issue a construction permit for a location.
The investigation also found that Singh allegedly falsified his job experience in his own application as a prospective certified asbestos investigator, filed with the DEP in March 2008, by listing jobs in which he reportedly worked under the former investigator's direction, including two of the inspections he is charged with fabricating.
Singh was charged with six counts of second-degree forgery, seven counts each of first-degree falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing and 20 related misdemeanor counts. Felony counts are punishable by up to seven years in prison.