Contractor of Collapsed Philadelphia Building Has Criminal Record

By David Chang
|  Thursday, Jun 6, 2013  |  Updated 9:50 AM EDT
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The contractor of the building that collapsed in Center City has a criminal record. Sources also say the crane operator involved in the demolition of the building also has a criminal past. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez has the details.

NBC10.com - Nefertiti Jaquez

The contractor of the building that collapsed in Center City has a criminal record. Sources also say the crane operator involved in the demolition of the building also has a criminal past. NBC10's Nefertiti Jaquez has the details.

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As rescue crews continue to search underneath the rubble of a collapsed building in downtown Philadelphia that killed six people and injured more than a dozen others, new details are emerging about the contractor and crane operator who were hired to demolish the building.

The 4-story building, located on 2136-2138 Market Street, is owned by the STB Investments Corporation. STB paid $385,894 for the nearly 4,200-square-foot property in 1994. The company Griffin-Campbell Construction was doing demolition work on the property.

While contractor Griffin Campbell, 49, had a valid license, court records also show that he has a criminal record and pleaded guilty to theft and insurance fraud back in 2009. 

Records also show that Campbell filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection back in March and owes thousands in unpaid city business taxes as well as state and federal taxes.

The crane operator who was onsite Wednesday morning before the collapse has a criminal record as well, sources close to the investigation, who did not want to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case, told NBC10’s Nefertiti Jaquez.

The address listed for Campbell's construction company was a North Philadelphia home. When NBC10 asked to speak with Campbell an unidentified woman offered a no comment response.

“He’s got no comment. He’s sorry for everything that happened, but no comment,” she said.

According to the sources, the operator, Sean Benschop, is a convicted felon who reports himself as “self-employed” and is currently being questioned by police about what happened prior to the deadly collapse.

No one has been charged in connection to Wednesday's collapse as the investigation continues.

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