All News Releases By Date
York, Pa. Landlord Pleads Guilty To Submitting Forged Lead Paint Disclosure Forms
Release Date: 4/25/2003
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543
Contact: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543
PHILADELPHIA – Kurvin H. Grove of York, Pa. pleaded guilty today in federal court in Harrisburg, Pa. to the criminal obstruction of agency proceedings related to forging signatures on lead notification forms.
Specifically, Grove obstructed a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation of Grove’s rental properties in York. In March 2002, Grove provided EPA inspectors with lead-based paint hazard notification forms, purportedly signed by residential tenants. Mr. Grove has admitted to forging the signatures on these forms.
EPA’s civil investigation of Grove’s properties began as a referral from the City of York’s Bureau of Health. They had mandated abatement of lead-based paint hazards in one of Grove’s properties following a tenant’s discovery that a child residing in the housing had an elevated blood lead level.
On March 12, 2003, United States Attorney Thomas A. Marino charged Grove with submitting criminal obstruction of agency proceedings stemming from his forgery of the lead notification forms.
Under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, sellers and landlords of residential housing built before 1978 must disclose to purchasers and tenants the presence of known lead-based paint hazards (or lack of knowledge of hazards); provide a lead hazard information pamphlet; provide a standard warning statement in the lease on the dangers of lead-based paint; provide purchasers with a 10-day opportunity to conduct a lead-based paint inspection; and include disclosure and acknowledgment language in sales contracts and leases.
Lead poisoning poses a significant health risk for young children. Ingesting lead is hazardous to all humans, but children under six years of age are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning because their young bodies are still developing, and because at that age, their natural discovery tendencies of hand-to-mouth activity bring them into frequent contact with lead in paint chips, dust and soil. The ingestion of lead adversely affects virtually every system of the body, and it can impair a child’s central nervous system, kidneys and bone marrow. At high levels, it can cause coma, convulsions and even death. Lead poisoning is especially acute among low-income and minority children living in older housing.
(For more information on EPA programs dealing with lead-based paint hazards, visit https://www.epa.gov/opptintr/lead/index.html)
The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Pa. and was investigated by the U.S. EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the City of York’s Bureau of Health.