President of Asbestos School Indicted

The president of a Methuen, Mass. asbestos abatement school that granted scores of certificates to illegal immigrants, allowing them to become asbestos workers and supervisors, has been indicted in U.S. District Court.

According to an article in South Coast Today, Albania Deleon was first indicted last August for submitting fraudulent documents to the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety. She was charged this week in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to make false statements, encourage illegal aliens to reside in the United States and to hire illegal aliens.

According to federal affidavits, Ms. Deleon “routinely issued asbestos certificates to people who did not attend required training courses or pass the test.” She allegedly arranged for them to receive fraudulent certificates in exchange for paying a $400 fee. The regular cost of the course and exams was $350.

Prosecutors have noted that several of those who received the fraudulent certificates were illegal immigrants from New Bedford. They worked across Massachusetts at demolition and construction sites, overseeing asbestos removal, the article notes.

Many of the untrained certificate recipients were directed to work for Methuen Staffing, Ms. Deleon’s temporary services company that specialized in asbestos removal, court records said.

The alleged scheme enabled Ms. Deleon to save over $1 million in tax and insurance payments while placing unskilled and untrained workers in the asbestos abatement field, court records said.

If convicted, Ms. Deleon faces up to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

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