Yesterday (10/30/08), top executives, including company President, V. Reddy Kancharla and 11 others, from Testwell Laboratories of Ossining, NY were indicted for corruption charges related to falsified or incomplete test results. The company was responsible verifying the integrity for concrete and steel used in major building projects in and around the New York City area. High profile clients include the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site and the new Yankees Stadium–both currently under construction.
From The Associated Press:
Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating charges for months that Testwell falsified test results for projects or billed companies for tests it never did, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the indictment had not been released publicly. The company’s president, V. Reddy Kancharla, and other company officials are also named in the indictment. Charges will include corruption, fraud, and racketeering over a five year period.
So far, no structural integrity issues have been detected due to the “dummied” results (as many as 1,200 tests at 102 projects, according to a report in today’s New York Daily News), but random checks will be scheduled at affected building sites. Some industry experts think the doctored results may just degrade the long-term integrity of the materials, possibly causing the “structures to deteriorate faster.” (NY Daily News)
The company dominates the testing marketing in the New York metro area, and it holds approximately $12 million in pending contracts around the city. If convicted, the executives could face between 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
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