Federal labor officer admits $14K scam of NJ contractors
An Essex County man who worked as a federal labor inspector has admitted to plotting with his brother to scam three construction companies out of about $14,000 in cash.
Alvaro Idrovo, 46, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. and extortion while employed by the federal Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
He and his brother, Paul Idrovo, were both arrested and charged in September 2020, stemming from incidents in Essex, Bergen, Hudson, and Morris Counties.
Alvaro Idrovo was an OSHA compliance safety and health officer when he lied to contractors about missing some type of safety certification — such as ladder and fall protection safety training, in one instance.
He told them they faced possible hefty fines, penalties and potential jail time if they did not follow his advice — as he gave them the phone number of a “trainer” by the name of “Jose Diaz” or “Paul Mejia” – both aliases of his brother.
Paul Idrovo was not an OSHA employee, as he printed up fake safety and health certificates for federal training that never happened and wasn’t actually needed, between Dec. 2019 and May 2020.
In exchange, the brothers charged the contractors $4,000 to $6,000 cash. They carried out the scheme with three different companies before eventually being caught.
When OSHA officials learned of the attempt to extort one of the contractors, they referred the matter to federal law enforcement, who arranged for that contractor to make consensual recordings with both Idrovo brothers in April 2020.
In December, Paul Idrovo, 48, of Nutley, pleaded guilty to the same offense and was later sentenced to three years of probation. He was also ordered to pay $15,600 in restitution.
When sentenced in February 2023, Alvaro Idrovo faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.