June 16, 2024

by Rafael Pena

Charges have been lodged against Valor Security and Investigations for deceptively operating a safety institute that issued false certifications to a plethora of construction staff.

ABC News has exposed a shocking case in New York, wherein Valor Security and Investigations, along with six high-ranking officials have been slapped with charges for allegedly operating an illegitimate safety institute that deceitfully approved thousands of construction personnel as satisfactorily trained. Discovered by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, this fraudulent scheme is deemed to have caused harsh impacts, including one unfortunate death.

The indictment highlights that Ivan Frias met his tragic end in 2022 following a plunge from the 15th floor of a construction site located in the Upper West Side. Allegedly, Valor Security and Investigations, during the timeframe of December 2019 to April 2023, falsely certified over 20,000 construction staff, asserting that they had attained full-fledged training in safety practices post 40-hour instruction. On the contrary, prosecutors contend that the enterprise fraudulently handed out “an abundance of safety certifications and identification cards sans providing any tangible training,” charging fees that spanned between $300 to $600 for counterfeit site safety training cards.

Underscoring the dire nature of the situation, especially in a sector where safety holds a paramount position, Bragg cautioned, “Scams can bring about severe repercussions and could even become a matter of life and death.” It is worth noting that construction workers have been mandated by law to be safety trained since 2017.

A host of charges have been made against Valor Security and Investigations including enterprise corruption charges for president Alexander Shaporov alongside five other staff. Nineteen alleged mediators, with a pair of master plumbers among them, are up against charges of illegal possession of forged documents that ultimately landed in the suspension of the plumbers’ licenses.

Prosecuters shared evidence that comprised emails and text messages where Shaporov was purportedly directing his staff to “fabricate” safety cards for 40 trainees who fell short of them. The indictment documents the instance of Ivan Frias where Valor is accused of issuing a false certification stating that Frias had successfully concluded 10 hours of safety training which included 8 hours of fall protection.

“I think every New Yorker has the right to be thoroughly repulsed by this turn of events,” remarked an incensed New York City Buildings Commissioner, Jimmy Oddo. He further mentioned that the department was contemplating revocation of Valor’s license to distribute safety cards. Oddo urged workers who procured certifications from Valor to undertake retraining, emphasizing the importance of addressing the safety concerns brought forth by these fraudulent certifications.

All the implicated individuals were taken under arrest on Wednesday morning, with court hearings slated for later in the day.

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