OLYMPIA, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Friday that he obtained two guilty pleas from Tacoma business owners who allegedly sold substandard asbestos worker training courses and certifications.

Environmental Management Training Services LLC allegedly charged a fee to provide required asbestos training to students. The company allegedly failed to provide the required training before certifying the workers were trained to employers and state regulators.

The allegedly shoddy certification process put untrained workers at risk to release asbestos into the air where it could be inhaled by the workers or the public. When released into the air, asbestos can cause lung disease, cancer and other serious ailments.

"Substandard and fraudulent training of asbestos workers poses an obvious and substantial risk to public health and safety," Ferguson said. "This is exactly the type of misconduct my environmental crimes team seeks to deter."

Timothy Pinckney and Pamela Pepper, the operators of Environmental Management Training Services, pleaded guilty to charges brought against them by Ferguson's office. Pinckney pleaded guilty to 10 separate charges, including six counts of forgery and four counts of making false statements. Pepper pleaded guilty to three counts of forgery, one count of making a false statement and one count of official misconduct by a notary public.

Pinckney was sentenced to four months confinement and the forfeiture of his asbestos course teaching credentials. Pepper was sentenced to two months confinement and revocation of her notary license.

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