A roofing contractor in Connecticut is facing up to five years in prison after lying to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about a job he worked on in 2018.
According to a release from Leonard C. Boyle, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, his offices — along with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General and the regional administrator of OSHA Criminal Investigations Team, Region 1 — stated Luis F. Estrada, 47, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty on March 3 to making false statements and submitting false documents to OSHA while the agency conducted an investigation into a job site he controlled.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Estrada is the owner of L.L.E. Construction, LLC. In February 2018, Estrada and L.L.E. Construction entered into a written contract to perform roof repairs and other construction services at a property located on Main Street in Bridgeport. In February and March 2018, Estrada was provided with three checks totaling $11,000 for performing the work.
On March 1, 2018, a compliance officer with OSHA visited the property and observed what he believed to be various safety infractions by construction workers who were making the roof repairs. The officer then initiated an on-site inspection into the suspected infractions. Estrada was not present at the Main Street property at the time, but spoke to the compliance officer by mobile phone.
On May 22, 2018, OSHA compliance officers served Estrada with a subpoena that demanded documents and records related to L.L.E. Construction’s work at the Main Street property in February and March 2018. On July 30, 2018, Estrada hand-delivered a written response stating that he “did not do any work for the ‘LLE Roofing Project,’” that “[t]here is no payroll because [he] did not work on the ‘LLE Roofing Project,’” and that he “do[es] not have any contract or any documents regarding the ‘LLE Roofing Project.’”
In pleading guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Labor, Estrada admitted that he lied in his written statements on July 30, 2018, and that he later lied in a deposition convened as part of the OSHA investigation into the suspected safety violations at the site.
At sentencing, which is not scheduled, Estrada faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Estrada is released on a $75,000 bond pending sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the OSHA Criminal Investigations Team, Region 1. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret M. Donovan.