Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Philadelphia Contractor Sentenced To Prison For Bribing OSHA Inspector

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia released the below information: 

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Tony Ren, 59, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to three months in prison, one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine by United States District Court Judge Mark A. Kearney after being convicted of two counts of bribery.

In December 2021, the defendant was convicted at trial of attempting to bribe an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance Safety and Health Officer in order to induce the official not to report safety violations at a Philadelphia construction site run by Ren, and to eliminate previous safety violations and corresponding fines. As detailed in the Indictment, in October 2017, the OSHA official conducted an inspection of a worksite on Arch Street in response to an imminent hazard report. During the inspection, the official observed numerous violations of OSHA standards including debris in passageways, electrical issues, holes in the floor, and gas tanks with broken pressure gauges. As the evidence presented at trial showed, on two separate dates in November 2017, Ren offered $1,500 cash bribes to the OSHA official in exchange for the official falsifying the inspection results, deleting previous violations from OSHA’s computer system, and agreeing not to report the violations so that the defendant could avoid the substantial penalties that would follow.

“OSHA inspections and standards exist for a reason: to prevent injuries and protect workers,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “This defendant attempted to subvert this system of protections by bribing an official to look the other way on multiple workplace safety violations. This case should serve as a warning to all employers and contractors that our Office will investigate and prosecute fully this type of corruption.”

“Tony Ren paid bribes to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance Safety and Health Officer in order to induce the officer not to report safety violations at a Philadelphia, PA construction site operated by Ren, as well as to eliminate previous safety violations and their corresponding fines. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and OSHA to investigate those who attempt to undermine the workplace safety laws that exist to protect American workers,” stated Syreeta Scott, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Philadelphia Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations-Labor Racketeering and Fraud and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary Kay Costello.

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