December 8, 2017

Middletown business owner gets 6 months in prison for falsifying credentials

The owner of a Middletown industrial safety training company has been sentenced to six months in prison and fined $20,000 for falsely certifying that he had completed a lead abatement course, authorities said.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford sentenced Stephen Craig, 66, of Essex, Thursday. His jail time will be followed by three years of supervised release, said John H. Durham, U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut.

In August, Craig pleaded guilty to making one false statement regarding a 32-hour lead-abatement training course his company, Environmental Training and Assessment, offered in Middletown in 2011.

According to authorities, an undercover Environmental Protection Agency agent attended the course under a fake identity, skipped the first two days of the course and was late for the third.

After the agent paid a $525 course fee, Craig allowed him to sit for the final examination, despite knowing that the agent had not attended for the required number of hours.

The agent intentionally failed the exam, but Craig's son, Matthew, filled in some of the answers that had been left blank, bringing the test up to a passing grade. The company later issued the agent a certificate of completion, Durham said.

Matthew Craig previously pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement and, on March 14, 2013, was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

The EPA's criminal investigation division investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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