Executives of a company accused of defrauding clients at major construction projects across the city for over a decade pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday afternoon.
Six employees of American Standard Testing and Consulting Laboratories, Inc. (ASTC), a concrete safety-testing company contracted to evaluate sites at high-profile projects like the new Yankee Stadium and the Second Avenue Subway, were indicted on charges of enterprise corruption, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records.
The company was also charged.
The individuals charged in the investigation, including owner Alan Fortrich, surrendered their passports and were released Thursday.
Prosecutors said the company engaged in widespread fraud quality tests to pocket millions of dollars. Officials said in many cases safety tests were billed but never done.
Other sites where test results were allegedly fabricated included LaGuardia Airport, the Javits Center, Columbia University, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal among others.
"The defendants are charged with not only cheating their clients, but also jeopardizing the public's safety," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
The indictment said the suspects falsified concrete mix design test reports, concrete cylinder test results, and falsely applied for licenses there were not entitled to obtain.
The charges linking ASTC to fraud comes after officials with another firm Testwell were convicted in recent years for engaging corruption and fraud in testing. Officials said none of the projects are in danger of collapse.
ASTC is also accused of lying about qualifying as a minority-owned business in order to win contracts.
Officials said at some projects, extra safety measures and improvements have been made and there is no knonw safety hazard at this time.
"This case is not about buildings falling down. It is about integrity in testing," one official said.
An attorney for Fortrich said the testing was properly conducted, and that the charges stemmed from a misunderstanding over paperwork.