November 17, 2017

West Haven eco-fraudster gets probation

A West Haven man must serve two years of probation for distributing false lead and asbestos abatement training certifications, federal prosecutors say.

Guido A. Cortes-Rodriguez, 64, faced as long as five years in prison when he was sentenced Wednesday in Hartford federal court for his conviction last December on one count of making a false statement to the federal government, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's office said.

According to court papers and testimony, Cortes was a training instructor at North Star Center For Human Development, an organization that offered a variety of training courses and certification to individuals working with lead paint and asbestos. Cortes was the training manager and a primary instructor for those courses, which are subject to regulation under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

In Dec. 2015, Cortes notified state public health authorities that an asbestos abatement supervisor initial training course would be conducted at North Star's Hartford facility from Dec. 27, 2015 to Jan. 2, 2016. He also said a 32-hour lead abatement worker initial course would take place from Jan. 3 to Jan. 6, 2016 at the same location.

However, none of the courses were ever conducted, investigators said.

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