Construction Safety Firm Charged With Faking Training of Worker Who Died

A construction safety company in New York City and 25 individuals were charged on Wednesday in connection with a yearslong scheme that falsely certified thousands of workers as having completed required safety training, including a worker who fell to his death, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

The company, Valor Security and Investigations, and four people were also charged with recklessly endangering the life of the construction worker who died, Ivan Frias, who plummeted from scaffolding in November 2022. Six people who worked at Valor, including its founder, were additionally charged with enterprise corruption and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

In recent years, Valor rose to become one of the largest providers of job site safety training for construction workers in New York City. Between December 2019 and April 2023, the company certified 20,000 laborers had completed 40 hours of courses, according to the district attorney’s office. Laborers cannot work at most construction sites in the city without completing the training.

Valor and its founder, Alexander Shaporov, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Alvin L. Bragg, the district attorney, said that prosecutors believe that most of the workers who were certified by Valor were never trained. Valor filed paperwork showing that Mr. Frias had received 10 hours of safety training, including eight hours of fall protection, but he never took the courses.

Prosecutors in the district attorney’s office, along with investigators in the city’s Department of Buildings and Department of Investigation, said they uncovered a scheme in which Valor worked with brokers to help people acquire training certificates. The people charged included 19 brokers, who used Valor to produce the certificates within days, often overnight, the prosecutors said.

The buildings commissioner, James S. Oddo, said that the department had started an audit of Valor, which could lead to it losing its construction license. If that happens, the roughly 20,000 workers whom Valor certified would lose their certification.

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