NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man has been sentenced to eight months of home confinement and ordered to repay more than $212,000 to a school board which hired him for asbestos inspections.
U.S. District Judge Lance Africk also ordered Marc Victoriano, 46, of Covington, to spend five years on probation for theft from a program receiving federal money, court records show.
Victoriano was responsible for safely removing any asbestos from Terrebonne Parish schools but put “workers, the general public, and most alarmingly school children, at risk,” Christopher Brooks, special agent in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in Louisiana, said in a news release Friday.
An indictment handed up in February 2020 accused Victoriano of contracting with the Terrebonne Parish School Board for asbestos inspections even though he was not a licensed asbestos inspector, and sending in years of fake reports.
He pleaded guilty Sept. 2 and was sentenced Wednesday.
From 2015 through 2017, the indictment said, Victoriano’s company, Professional Safety Consultants LLC, sent the school board 56 fraudulent lab reports claiming to show air monitoring and asbestos testing. It said Victoriano also sent in nine invoices with forged signatures and accreditation information.
The reports were required under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, according to a news release Friday from the EPA.
Victoriano agreed to repay $212,618 to the school board, according to the plea agreement.
The scheme “placed students and staff in a potentially dangerous situation and financially victimized taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Duane Evans said.