Local man admits fraud in lead testing

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver man pleaded guilty Friday in Portland to one count of wire fraud for falsely telling customers he was certified to do lead-based paint inspections and testing in homes where children live.

Martin Glaves Kuna, 66, was not certified by the state of Oregon to do the inspections, according to an Oregon Department of Justice release.

Kuna advertised his services online from May 2008 to September 2012. During this time, he did more than 10 lead-based paint inspections, the release said. In January 2012, investigators with the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Kuna to stop lead inspections and testing, but he continued to advertise and perform the services.

"Kuna unnecessarily put children and families at risk using unscrupulous and unsafe business practices. Cases like this one, where people could be exposed to a potentially harmful contaminant, will be tirelessly investigated and tenaciously prosecuted," said Seattle EPA Special Agent Tyler Amon.

Oregon law prohibits any person or company from performing lead-based paint inspections and testing in buildings where children reside without being properly certified first.

"Individuals who lie about their qualifications to perform these tasks endanger the health and welfare of anyone who falls prey to such fraud, but especially endanger the lives and health of children," U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said in the release.