Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of RICHARD MARINI, 62, to 1-to-3 years in state prison for facilitating fraudulent site safety inspections at multiple construction sites in Manhattan. MARINI and his company, AVANTI BUILDING CONSULTANTS INC. (“AVANTI”), were previously indicted along with six other individuals and one company following an investigation into construction site safety fraud that was referred to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office by the New York City Department of Investigation (“DOI”). On October 19, 2015, MARINI pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and, to date, all of the defendants indicted in connection with this investigation have been convicted of various related crimes.
“All too often, lapses in safety procedure only become apparent after a tragedy occurs,” said District Attorney Vance. “As a result of Richard Marini’s criminal conduct, more than 40 active construction sites were left unsupervised and unchecked by qualified inspectors. Fortunately, the fraud was uncovered before anyone was harmed. Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to those who might seek to cut corners in order to turn a quick profit in this real estate market: My Office’s Rackets Bureau and our partners at DOI will continue to hold individuals and companies accountable for fraud committed at construction sites. Last year, my Office announced the formation of the Construction Fraud Task Force to investigate and enforce similar criminal conduct, and I thank our partners for their continued commitment to ensuring that workers and City residents are protected from harm.”
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, MARINI managed a consulting company, AVANTI, which purported to offer the services of licensed site safety managers to conduct inspections at construction sites throughout New York City. However, instead of assigning qualified managers to assess site safety conditions, MARINI used Craigslist and similar recruitment sites to find other individuals to do the jobs, despite the fact that none of these individuals were properly licensed or qualified to conduct site safety inspections. MARINI hired short order cooks, window treatment specialists, hotel bellhops, hairdressers, eBay vendors, and even a musician, and instructed them to go to job sites and sign the safety logs in their own names or in the names of licensed site safety managers that MARINI provided. Many of the licensed managers were unaware that their names were being used by the defendant, as well as individuals that the defendant claimed were interns for AVANTI. In some instances, so-called interns even signed the name of a deceased site safety manager in a construction site safety log.
Assistant District Attorney Diana Florence, Attorney-in-Charge of the Construction Fraud Task Force and Senior Investigative Counsel of the Rackets Bureau, handled the prosecution of the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Carey Ng and under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jodie Kane, Chief of the Rackets Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David M. Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Investigative Analyst Devon Rettew provided additional assistance with the case.
District Attorney Vance thanked the following individuals for their assistance with the investigation: New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, Associate Inspector General Michael Carroll, Assistant Inspector General Laura Bowman, Deputy Inspector General Ed Zinzer, Chief Investigator James McElligott, and Forensic Investigators Dennis Hemmingway and Erskine Fleming; and New York City Department of Buildings Scaffold Safety Team Inspector Joe Cobian.
RICHARD MARINI, D.O.B. 11/6/1953
Staten Island, NY
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
- 1-to-3 years in state prison
- $610,000 restitution order
AVANTI BUILDING CONSULTANTS INC. (A/K/A “RISK MANAGEMENT AGENCY, INC.”)
New York, NY
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 3 counts