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Concrete testing company faces corruption charges

The president of a concrete testing company that worked on such New York City landmarks as the new Yankee Stadium was convicted Wednesday of concocting phony test results, but a jury acquitted a low-level manager and has yet to reach a verdict on the top racketeering charge against the president and company.

Deliberations continued Wednesday on enterprise corruption - the state's version of racketeering - and other charges against Testwell Laboratories Inc., president V. Reddy Kancharla and vice president Vincent Barone. They are accused of doctoring concrete and steel test results for more than 100 projects, including Ground Zero's signature Freedom Tower.

Kancharla and the company were found guilty of falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing - charges linked to the stadium, the Freedom Tower, a JetBlue terminal at Kennedy Airport and the forthcoming Second Avenue subway line, among other projects.

Those four projects and 18 others have been retested and found safe, the city Buildings Department says. But officials are awaiting retesting results for at least 60 other projects.

Kancharla's partial conviction could send him to prison for up to 4 years. But unlike enterprise corruption, those charges don't require prison time. Jurors haven't decided on any counts against Barone.

Prosecutors and lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment.

The case involved 119 projects in and around the city, including schools, hospitals, hotels, museums and libraries.

Defense lawyers said the company and executives didn't intend to defraud anyone. They said the allegations reflected contract disputes, honest errors and common industry practices - not crimes.

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