Rogelio Lowe guilty plea

Document Sample
Rogelio Lowe guilty plea Powered By Docstoc
					                              United States Department of Justice

                                                 United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello
                                                               Northern District of California
                                                                                                11th Floor, Federal Building
                                                                                        450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055
                                                                                             San Francisco, California 94102
                                                                                                             (415) 436-7200
                                                                                                       FAX: (415) 436-7234

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              CONTACT: Jack Gillund
JULY 30, 2010                                                                                (415) 436-6599



                 Students Were Licensed To Remove Asbestos Without Proper Training

SAN FRANCISCO - Rogelio Lowe, also known as Roger Lowe, pled guilty yesterday to two counts of mail
fraud stemming from his operation of E&D Environmental Safety Training Inc, a company that offered
occupational training for asbestos workers, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced.

According to the plea agreement, starting in 2007 and continuing into 2009, Lowe 44, of Thornton, Calif.,
devised a scheme to defraud whereby he provided asbestos training to students for a fee but did not train the
students for the required amount of time, and, in several instances, provided little or no training.

Asbestos is classified as a hazardous substance and known carcinogen. The act of removing friable asbestos
carries with it a high risk of creating airborne asbestos debris. Exposure to friable asbestos is linked to
diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

By law, any person seeking accreditation as an asbestos worker must complete a training course over four
days, eight hours each day. The course includes lectures, demonstrations, at least 14 hours of hands-on
training, and individual respirator fit testing. The student must then pass a closed-book examination. Once a
person receives a certificate, they must then take an annual refresher course.

According to information in the plea agreement, Lowe provided asbestos removal courses that did not
comply with federal law. As part of the scheme, Lowe did not teach the course for the required number of
hours; he held classes that were no more than 30 minutes in length, he provided answers to the closed-book
examinations, and he forged tests for students that did not attend a test day. Lowe then issued certificates to
students and charged their employers accordingly. This scheme extended to both the required four-day initial
training and the annual refresher course. Lowe submitted class rosters to the California Division of Industrial
Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, falsely reflecting that
these students had successfully completed the training and passed the examination, when he knew they had
not. Cal/OSHA used and relied on these rosters to add the names of students to its state list of qualified
asbestos workers.

The sentencing of Lowe is scheduled for Dec. 2, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey
S. White in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of violating Title 18, United
States Code, Section 1341 (mail fraud) is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence
following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines
and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Stacey Geis is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rayneisha
Further Information:

     Case #: CR 09-01013 JSW

     A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at

     Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at


Shared By: