COVID-19 Notice: Block O'Toole & Murphy is fully operational in accordance with safety regulations provided by the CDC and local health officials.
Our attorneys continue to provide quality legal representation and are available to discuss your case over the phone, email, or video. Read more from our managing partners.
Block O'Toole & Murphy Block
& Murphy
Premier NY Personal Injury Lawyers

Workplace Safety Scam Uncovered

Outsourcing building inspections, a common practice at the New York Department of Buildings, has unwanted consequences. It turns out that two safety firms hired to verify that workplace safety practices were implemented correctly at building sites were actually scamming the system and that the desired outcome -- preventing construction accidents -- was the last thing the "inspectors" were doing.

The fraudulent actions by two companies, Avanti Building Consultants of Staten Island and NYCB Engineering of Queens, were discovered when an alert city inspector saw some inconsistencies in a report signed by a site safety manager and tried to call the person who signed the form. Instead of talking with the person who signed off on the construction project, he talked with the man’s widow. The safety manager had died months before, at age 79.

A subsequent investigation led to the indictment of the two companies in early July 2014. The investigation showed that one of the companies, Avanti, recruited “inspectors” using Craigslist. The employees were cooks, bellhops, hairdressers and musicians – almost everything except safety inspectors. The job was not to inspect, but to travel from job site to job site to sign safety logs, either with their own names or with the names of actual safety managers, living or dead. In addition to the inspection companies, the indictment covered seven managers and other employees of the companies.

At NYCB, safety managers claimed that they had inspected 14 sites a day. This was impossible, as city requirements specify that managers spend at least two hours a day on site.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., said, “We’re very lucky no one was hurt. They didn’t just scam the system. They put in danger the people (at the sites and passers-by).”

Source: New York Daily News, “Two NYC building safety firms indicted on charges of falsifying reports — even signing dead man’s name,” Jul. 3, 2014.

Speak with a Qualified New York Injury Lawyer Today

Fill out our short online contact form for a FREE, immediate case review, or call us locally at 212-736-5300 today. The lawyers in our firm work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect any money unless we win your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Firm Awards and Honors

These are some of the publications and organizations that have recognized our firm and individual attorneys for excellence.

Learn More
Block O'Toole & Murphy - Listed in Best Lawyers - Linking Lawyers and Clients Worldwide Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms - U.S. News The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum Irish Legal 100 Martindale-Hubbell - Peer Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability New York Magazine - Top Verdicts & Settlements New York Law Journal - NAACP Frances Pope Memorial Foundation - Love. Support. Hope. St. John's University - School of Law St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Expertise - Best Workers Compensation Attorneys New York City 2020
Call Block O'Toole & Murphy Today For Help - 212-736-5300

What can we help you find?