NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A Louisiana man has been sentenced to eight months of house arrest and ordered to pay back more than $ 212,000 to a school board that 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 under a program receiving federal money, court records show.
Victoriano was responsible for the safe removal of asbestos from parish schools in Terrebonne, but put “workers, the general public and schoolchildren at risk,” Christopher Brooks, special agent in charge of the criminal law enforcement program from the US Environmental Protection Agency in Louisiana, said in a statement Friday.
An indictment issued in February 2020 accused Victoriano of having entered into a contract with the Commission scolaire paroissiale de Terrebonne for asbestos inspections even though he was not a licensed asbestos inspector, and of having sent years of false reporting.
He pleaded guilty on September 2 and was sentenced on Wednesday.
From 2015 to 2017, according to the indictment, Victoriano’s company, Professional Safety Consultants LLC, sent the school board 56 fraudulent lab reports purporting to show air monitoring and asbestos testing. He said Victoriano also sent nine invoices with forged signatures and accreditation information.
The reports were required under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, according to a press release issued by the EPA on Friday.
Victoriano agreed to reimburse the school board for $ 212,618, according to the plea agreement.
The program “placed students and staff in a potentially dangerous situation and financially victimized taxpayers,” said US Attorney Duane Evans.