United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Wild Willy’s Fireworks, LLC (“Wild Willy’s”, a corporation with its principal office in Springfield, Nebraska, was sentenced in federal court today in Omaha for Falsifying Records in a Federal Investigation. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Wild Willy’s to three years of probation and a $35,000 fine. Wild Willy’s, through its representative and owner, Dan Williams, pleaded guilty to the crime on August 21, 2019.
On January 17, 2017, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) inspector traveled to Wild Willy’s facility in Springfield to conduct a workplace inspection. Dan Williams was not present when the inspector arrived. The inspector was not permitted to enter the Wild Willy’s facility. Williams spoke with the inspector over the telephone and agreed that the inspector would return the next day on January 18, 2017. Williams then traveled to the facility and instructed employees to perform tasks in preparation for the inspection. Williams contacted a forklift operator trainer to conduct forklift training for individuals at Wild Willy’s.
When the forklift trainer arrived, Williams advised him that there was insufficient time to perform the forklift training. Williams instructed the trainer to complete certificates for four individuals stating that each of them received the forklift training. The trainer completed certificates for the four individuals. Each of the certificates were back dated to September 28, 2015. Although each of the certificates indicated that forklift training occurred on September 28, 2015, none of the individuals received forklift training on that date.
On January 18, 2017, an OSHA representative requested copies of the forklift training certificates. An employee of Wild Willy’s emailed OSHA copies of the falsified certificates. Each of the certificates falsely represented that the individuals listed received forklift training on September 28, 2015.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General.