| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Blasting Resource Guide eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

U.S. Indicts Bogus OSHA Trainer

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

More items for Environmental Controls

Comment | More

A Mississippi woman is facing years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines after allegedly posing as a federally certified safety trainer in the wake of the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster.

A 22-count indictment, unsealed Sept. 26 in federal court in New Orleans, charges Connie M. Knight, 46, with impersonating a federal employee to entice people to pay her for bogus hazardous waste safety training.

 U.S. Coast Guard

 U.S. Coast Guard

Authorities said the scam preyed on immigrant fishing workers displaced by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire and oil spill. Eleven workers perished in the blast.

Authorities say Knight conned more than 1,000 people in five months by targeting members of Louisiana’s Southeast Asian communities who had been displaced from the fishing industry wrecked by the BP explosion and oil spill. Many of her victims neither read nor spoke English proficiently, officials said.

Bogus Credentials, Empty Promises

The indictment says Knight created and used fraudulent diplomas, certifications and Occupational Safety and Health Administration credentials to convince individuals that she was an authorized hazardous waste trainer.

The indictment also charges Knight with creating, possessing and distributing false federal identification documents.

Knight, previously of Belle Chasse, LA, was arrested by federal agents last week at her home in Wiggins, MS, and appeared later in federal court.

Paper Scam

The indictment alleges that Knight impersonated an OSHA “Master Level V Inspector and Instructor” by using false OSHA credentials, a false OSHA e-mail address, and various other ruses.

Knight told her targets that they would be able to procure lucrative cleanup work if they attended and paid for her training courses. She also hired several of her targets and provided them with bogus OSHA credentials as well, according to the indictment.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster devastated the Gulf Coast fishing community, and many of those left without livelihoods turned to work in the cleanup effort. All cleanup personnel were required to receive hazardous waste safety training before working in contaminated areas.

Prison Terms, Fines

Knight could face decades in prison and multiple six-figure fines if convicted of the charges.

Each charge of producing and transferring fraudulent federal identification documents carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The charge of possessing a fraudulent federal identification document carries up to one year in prison and a fine of $5,000. The 19 counts of falsely impersonating a federal employee each carry up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from OSHA, the FBI, and investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s office.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Enforcement; Hazardous waste; Health and safety; Offshore; Oil and Gas; OSHA; Paint disposal; Worker training

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

The one way to control
a tank: DRYCO

Temporary climate control equipment. Dehumidifiers,
Heaters, A/C, Power, More…
Toll Free: 866-379-2600

LPI Incorporated
LPI, Inc.

Manufactures air-powered man lifts for use in prep, paint and blast booths. Standard and custom designs.
Phone 800-657-6956 or

CS Unitec
Surface Prep & Material Removal

CS Unitec’s Floor Planers remove coatings & corrosion from concrete & metal surfaces. Produce keyed profiles for waterproofing applications.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead

Manus Abrasive Systems, Inc./Mod-U-Blast Mfg.
Manus Abrasive
& Mod-U-Blast Mfg

stock several handy tools to accomplish a wide range of internal pipe blasting/cleaning.
Dealer inquiries welcome.

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.

RPB Respiratory

With 5 tear off lenses and an outer lens in place, RPB Safety’s new Nova 3 Cassette Lens System has been specifically designed to save you time and money.

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox - One Step
Lead Abatement

Don't waste $$ on added labor steps with other methods. Don't mix, meter or apply at the job-site. Avoid strict hazardous waste rules.
Let your painters paint!

US Minerals
US Minerals -
Black Magnum

With nationwide production and distribution capabilities, U.S. Minerals supplies a complete range of coal slag and other abrasives to meet all of your blasting needs.

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail