Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud Involving Fake OSHA Training

An Ohio construction company owner pleaded guilty to mail fraud involving fake OSHA training certificates.

Ron Craig Estes, owner of R&R Steel LLC, is scheduled to be sentenced May 13 on charges of mail fraud and theft from an employee benefit plan. Estes will also pay a judgment of $25,000 and pay restitution to victims in an amount to be determined.

Certificates Forged

In 2015, Estes allegedly began skirting OSHA requirements by buying fake training certifications to compete for a contract providing steel installation for a project in Cincinnati, according to the U.S. Southern District of Ohio Attorney’s Office.

Estes paid $800 for 10 fake training certificates to avoid costs and time spent ensuring employees completed their proper, real safety training. R&R Steel was then paid $450,000 to work on the Cincinnati project.

He also embezzled between $15,000 and $40,000 from his company’s retirement plan by completing distribution forms for workers who left the company and forging their signatures on the distribution checks.

Mail fraud has a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and embezzlement has a maximum sentence of five years.