Prosecutors announced Thursday that nearly a dozen persons are accused in Miami-Dade in connection with a plan to fraudulently obtain certifications needed to repair building elevators.
According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, two suspects, David Valles-Gomez and Gabriel Alfonso, agreed to take an online competence test for elevator mechanics that the state mandates in exchange for payment.
In order to be formally qualified by the state for elevator maintenance, the examinations were taken under the name of another individual who later obtained a Florida Certification of Completion, according to the prosecution.
According to the prosecution, Alfonso served as a middleman and took a price of $250 to $400, of which $200 to $300 was paid to Valles-Gomez for taking the exam.
Prosecutors said that the majority of the technicians had experience with moving walkways, escalators, and elevators in locations where Florida-style certification was not necessary.
But once the scam was uncovered, all of the work performed by the technicians on Miami-Dade County property was re-inspected, according to officials.
“Everybody’s personal safety in Miami-Dade County must always be a top priority. When someone makes an effort to bypass a public safety requirement or certification, they deliberately increase the danger “State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle of Miami-Dade stated in a statement. This claimed system of cheating by skilled technicians can’t and won’t hold up.
Prosecutors also brought allegations of organized fraud conspiracy and criminal cheating against Xael Concepcion-Vargas, Jose Cuevas-Romero, Ramon Fleitas, Marcos Garcia, Hugo Marte, Gabriel Ortiz, Jose Tirado-Blanco, and Frederick Williams in addition to Alfonso and Valles-Gomez.