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      Lifeguard accused of lying about Red Cross certification, taking money to train others

      Andrew Montero, of East Syracuse

      He was hired as a lifeguard instructor, but Solvay Police say he did not have the qualification required to teach.

      A former employee of the Solvay-Geddes Youth Center is accused of lying about his qualifications, and accepting money to train others.

      Andrew Montero, of East Syracuse, presented himself as a certified instructor of the American Red Cross.

      Solvay Police say he was certified when he was hired to work at the Solvay Geddes Youth Center, but his certification as an instructor was revoked while he was working there. The Red Cross says Montero was never certified as a lifeguard instructor.

      The scheme started to unravel when one victim's parent went to the director of the Solvay Geddes Youth Center, saying the certification their child received was not recognized by the Red Cross.

      Police say eleven others who were trained by Montero reported similar situations. They were told their certifications were not valid, and they needed to be retrained.

      Solvay Police arrested him on Wednesday.

      "He was a little less truthful with me in the beginning and once I began talking with him he admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong but he needed food and gas money at the time," said Solvay Detective Carl Hill.

      All 12 have since been recertified by the Red Cross at no cost.

      "My biggest concern was to make sure everyone we knew of was contacted and was recertified as they should be," said Solvay Geddes Youth Center Executive Director Joe Antonuccio.

      Montero faces nearly 25 charges, including 12 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, 11 counts of Petit Larceny, Falsifying Business Records, and Scheme to Defraud.

      Andrew Montero is due in Geddes Town Court later this month.

      If this sounds familiar, you're encouraged to give the Solvay Police Department a call. As police continue to investigate, they're asking anyone who may have been trained by Montero to contact officers at 315-468-2510.