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Bellerose worker defrauded city: DOI

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Michael Misa, 40, of Northfield, N.J., was charged last Thursday with tampering with public records, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, attempted grand larceny and attempted defrauding of the government, DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said.He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.Misa sent a $4,675 bill to the city Department of Environmental Protection for inspections on backflow preventers that he never performed, Gill Hearn said."Those who think they can scam the system to line their pockets at the expense of city taxpayers should know that they will be caught," she said in a statement.Misa is a licensed master plumber in New Jersey but is also certified in New York to test backflow preventer valves and works for Bellerose-based DGM Industries, according to Gill Hearn.Backflow preventer tests are required to be performed once a year at DEP facilities that are designed to stop fresh drinking water from being mixed with wastewater.Misa visited 13 DEP facilities in Queens on Oct. 10 to test 17 backwater preventer valves but did not have any tools with him, according to Gill Hearn. She said the inspections were done in four hours, although it would normally take at least nine hours to complete.The plumber charged DEP $4,675 for his inspections on Oct. 21 but later said he did not conduct any tests that day and instead copied last year's test results into a new report, according to Gill Hearn.He was never paid for the inspections.The probe into Misa was sparked by a corruption prevention lecture held by the Department of Investigation last year, the agency said, and the DEP then contacted the investigative body. The lectures are designed to encourage people to report corruption and serves as a deterrent to criminal activity, according to the DOI.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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