Washington, DC – A federal grand jury recently indicted Richard Zagger of Blue Point, New York, charging him with conspiracy and obstruction of official proceedings relating to an investigation into a fatal construction accident.
The four-count indictment alleges that Zagger was a supervisor for Northridge Construction Corporation, located in East Patchogue, Long Island, New York. On Dec. 8, 2018, Zagger was overseeing employees of Northridge constructing a metal shed on the Northridge property. During the construction, one of the employees fell from the improperly secured shed roof and died.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the employee’s death and violations of worker safety standards. Among other worker safety standards, OSHA regulations require maintaining the stability of a metal structure at all times during construction. The indictment charges that during the investigation, Zagger made false statements and conspired with others to make false statements to obstruct the federal agency’s inquiry.
The maximum penalty for the conspiracy count and each obstruction count is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the economic gain to the defendant or loss suffered by the victim because of the crime.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) made the announcement.
Senior Trial Attorneys Daniel Dooher and Richard J. Powers and Trial Attorney Rachel Roberts of ENRD’s Environmental Crimes Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.