Contractor charged with theft of federal funds
Press Release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – MARC A. VICTORIANO (VICTORIANO), age 46, of Covington, Louisiana, was charged in federal court in a one-count Indictment for theft from a program receiving federal funds.
According to the Indictment, from January 2015 and continuing through 2017, VICTORIANO and his company, Professional Safety Consultants, LLC, ("PSC") provided asbestos inspections for the Terrebonne Parish School Board ("TPSB") as mandated by the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act ("AHERA"). Under AHERA, each school or facility must maintain an Asbestos Operation & Maintenance Plan addressing all areas confirmed or suspected to contain asbestos. VICTORIANO submitted 56 invoices to TPSB with fraudulent asbestos laboratory reports including false air monitoring and false asbestos testing reports. VICTORIANO also submitted nine invoices to TPSB for AHERA reports with forged signatures and accreditation information. As a result, TPSB paid VICTORIANO approximately $212,618.26 to which he was not entitled, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(A).
“The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) is designed to protect our schools from hazardous air pollutants”, said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Brooks of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in Louisiana. “Today’s indictment demonstrates that individuals who intentionally violate federal laws will be held responsible for their crimes.”
VICTORIANO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than ten years, a fine of $250,000.00, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.00. Additionally, VICTORIANO is subject to a period of supervised release after imprisonment of up to three years. U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilty of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division; the Louisiana State Police; Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Criminal Investigation Section and the Louisiana Environmental Crimes Task Force, in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Julia K. Evans is in charge of the prosecution.