Why would someone pose as an OSHA official? An indictment claims one woman did so to defraud more than 1,000 people out of money.
A 22-count federal indictment alleges Connie Knight of Wiggins, MS, used fake credentials to con more than 1,000 people out of up to $300 each — a total of $215,800.
The indictment says Knight had forged credentials that said she was an inspector and instructor with OSHA. She also claimed to be the agency’s highest-ranked female trainer.
Federal officials say she targeted fishermen from Southeast Asia when fisheries were closed due to the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Fisherman were being hired for oil cleanup, and Knight allegedly told hundreds of them, many of whom didn’t speak English, that she could provide them with the necessary training.
Knight also is alleged to have created fake OSHA IDs for four others whom she hired. They’ve not been charged.
The charges include 19 counts of impersonating a federal employee, one of possessing a fake federal ID, and one count each of producing and transferring fake federal IDs.
Penalties could include fines of $250,000 and up to 15 years in prison.