NYSSPE Commends the Attorney General for the 50-Count Indictment over Forged Superstorm Sandy Engineering Reports

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The New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced a 50-count indictment charging Matthew Pappalardo (not a NYS licensed engineer) and his former employer, HiRise Engineering, P.C. with allegedly altering engineering reports prepared in connection with the assessment of structural damage of residential properties resulting from Superstorm Sandy.

NYSSPE commends Attorney General Schneiderman on his action and hopes this is the beginning of more aggressive action against engineering malpractice which NYSSPE believes is happening throughout the State.  In this specific case, there were several NYSSPE members whose reports were altered.The video above is a summary of the indictment by NYSSPE Legislative Counsel Mark Kriss, Esq.  Once again, NYSSPE commends the Attorney General for taking this action and we will continue to seek out unlawful and unethical practice in New York.

You can click here to read a full article on this topic from the Attorney General’s office.

Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical.  NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.


  1. John Teufel, PE, LEED AP BD+C says:

    I still do not understand Pappalardos and HiRises financial motive for altering the engineering reports. Could you please clearly explain how they would benefit financially from their actions? I don’t believe that they would have to pay any of these claims out of their own pockets, what was their motive? I’m sure many other of our members have this same question. Perhaps a more interesting question is why does no one seem to clearly state what the motive was. Is there some kind of hidden agenda working here?

    • Susan Lounsbury, P.E. says:

      The motivation is this – If an engineer provides a conclusion that a particular item of damage at an insured property was NOT damaged by a covered item their insurance policy, then the carrier denies payment to the homeowner (under their homeowners policy or flood insurance policy). Then the engineer often gets more work, which is money in his pocket, from the insurance company. So, that is the motivation.

      • Salvatore Capitano P.E. retired says:

        Susan; you nailed it. Shame on them, and shame on our society, us, for not reminding our members of their ethical duty to honest investigation, or as our pledge says “service before profit.”
        The damage is what it is. The cause sometimes less clear. We owe it to all involved to do our honest best.
        It’s not our responsibility to analyze the insurance policy or coverage.

    • Daivd Peraza says:

      I can tell you what the motivation is not. It’s NOT that if the insurance company pays out less that the engineering firm will get more work from the insurance company.

      These flood policies are funded by FEMA. The insurance company is just a “go between.” If there is a “covered loss”, FEMA pays the insurance company, and they pass the funds to the consumer. So there is not motivation, neither on the part of the insurance company nor the engineering firm, to deny coverage.

      See my article in ENR for more information.

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