By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The owner of a concrete company convicted of faking important construction tests on Yankee Stadium, the Second Avenue subway, the Freedom Tower and hundreds of other city projects was sentenced to prison on Wednesday.
Testwell Laboratories president V. Reddy Kancharla received seven to 21 years behind bars and was ordered to pay $225,000 in reparations.
The former construction boss made two recent suicide attempts, which Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Edward McLaughlin said did not influence his decision.
Kancharla, the once successful executive responsible for testing the strength of steel and concrete for many of the New York area's biggest construction projects, told the judge he regrets his "seriously flawed" decisions, both business and personal.
"In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to the concrete mix design program and should have implemented more checks and balances in place at Testwell," Kancharla said in court, wearing a neck brace because of a recent surgery stemming from a hanging attempt.
In reference to the attempts on his life, both times in his Westchester office, he thanked "God and my assistant, Barbara, because of whom I am able to stand here today."
Prosecutors said Kancharla's actions violated the trust of New Yorkers, who have no choice but to believe the city's buildings and structures are safe and reliable.
"There are only so many corners you can cut, so many rules you can ignore, before you have created an unsafe building," said Assistant Distrtict Attorney Diana Florence.
"And yet, [Kancharla] cut corners, falsified data, allowed rules to be ignored and tests to be skipped, or done by people without the proper training," she said.
"Not once in a blue moon, but thousands of times — institutionalized fraud on the grand scale.
Kancharla has been incarcerated since a pre-sentencing hearing last week.