CAMDEN, N.J. – A Rochelle Park, New Jersey, man today admitted selling Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications to New Jersey carpenters who never completed the required training, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
George Bello, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court to an information charging him with making false statements in the creation and sale of construction industry certification forms, known as “OSHA 30” cards.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The OSHA 30 training program provides construction workers with foundational knowledge and skills in occupational safety. Frederick Prinz, 38, of Marmora, New Jersey, was certified by OSHA’s Outreach Training Program (OTP) at the Rocky Mountain Education Center, in Red Rocks, Colorado, to issue workers OSHA 30 cards after they passed a 30-hour OTP training course. For a fee of $150 to $250 per card, Bello, Prinz and others sold false OSHA 30 certifications to carpenters who never completed the required training. The fees were split between Bello, Prinze and others who promoted the fraudulent cards at various work sites.
The charge to which Bello pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 21, 2015. Prinz previously pleaded guilty to his role and was sentenced to two years of probation on Jan. 29, 2015.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Garcia, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked OSHA for its assistance.
The government is represented by V. Grady O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Raymond F. Flood Esq., Hackensack, New Jersey