Queens contractor busted for selling bogus safety certificates
BY Brian Kates
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Friday, June 25th 2010, 4:00 AM
* Brooklyn warehouse worker Yuquan Chen crushed to death by falling granite slabs
A Queens contractor was busted Thursday for selling dozens of bogus safety certificates needed by hardhats to work on most construction projects, prosecutors said.
Junior Lewis, owner of Jule Builders Group Inc. in Jamaica, sold at least 69 Labor Department cards in the last year certifying that workers had completed 30 hours of safety training when they had not, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office said.
Daily News investigations have exposed a widespread black market in the coveted certificates, known as OSHA-30 cards. They are required for most city construction workers on buildings of 10 or more stories.
Lewis, 53, certified as a construction-safety trainer under a program regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration, sold the certificates for $200-$400 apiece, leaving the recipient's name blank, prosecutors said.
Federal Judge James Cott released Lewis on $50,000 personal recognizance bond pending a court appearance July 26.