PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our Free Top Contractors e-Resource Guide.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Bogus OSHA Trainer Pleads Guilty

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

A Louisiana woman has admitted impersonating a federal health and safety trainer in order to fleece unemployed immigrants displaced from the Gulf Coast fishing industry by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
 
Connie M. Knight, 46, previously of Belle Chasse, LA, pleaded guilty Thursday (Jan. 24) in federal court in New Orleans to one misdemeanor and three felony criminal charges for creating false identification documents and impersonating a federal official, state and federal authorities announced.
 
Knight was indicted in September on 22 counts alleging fraud and impersonation.
 
Badges and Bogus Titles
 
According to the plea agreement, Knight impersonated a high-ranking Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hazardous-waste safety instructor and inspector after the spill.

Hoping to capitalize on the cleanup effort, Knight claimed the non-existent title of “OSHA Master Level V Instructor and Inspector" and created a false federal badge with that title, authorities said.

Marine Life Mortality
Encyclopedia of Earth

The Deepwater Horizon spill on April 20, 2010, wiped out much of the Gulf Coast fishing industry. This is a snapshot of the marine life toll as of Oct. 14, 2010.

She then preyed on residents of Southeast Asian fishing communities in Southern Louisiana, charging them between $150 and $400 to take one of her training seminars. Knight promised her trainees lucrative cleanup jobs, although she had no connection to the cleanup effort.

Training Classes

Knight claimed that her classes satisfied the safety requirements that all individuals were to complete in order to be employed at a Deepwater Horizon hazardous-waste cleanup site. Court documents said Knight's classes lasted as little as two hours, while legitimate certifications would take at least six days of classroom training and three days of on-site training.

Furthermore, although many of her attendees were Vietnamese, Laotian or Cambodian, Knight spoke only English at the classes, and all materials were in English, authorities said. The attendees were largely individuals who had been in the fishing industry that had been decimated by the oil spill unleashed by the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
 
Knight also hired some of her trainees and created false federal identification badges for them. Those employees believed they were working for OSHA and helped Knight gain access to more victims, authorities said.
 
Deepwater Horizon cleanup workers
priceofoil.org

The disaster created a new boom industry in cleanup work. Authorities said Connie Knight had no connection to the cleanup but rushed to capitalize on it.

In all, authorities said, Knight conned more than 1,000 people over five months. Some of her victims later gained access to hazardous-waste cleanup sites based on the fraudulent certifications she created.

Producing fraudulent federal identification documents carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Possessing a fraudulent federal identification document carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine of $100,000. The two counts of falsely impersonating a federal employee each carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Knight is scheduled to be sentenced April 12.

 

   

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

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Bullard
 
The Next Generation
of Blasting
 
• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems
 
Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
US Minerals
 
Hit Harder. Clean Faster.
 
Black Diamond abrasive products are the toughest, most effective blasting media and supply the superior power you need to get any job done.
 

 
Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
 
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT
 
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.
 

 
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.
 

 
Clemco Industries Corp.
 
Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
 
The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
 

 
Jotun Paints Inc.
 
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution
 
The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.
 

 
Novatek Corporation
 
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal
 
Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings 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 PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us