Florida trucking school owner sentenced for illegal CDL testing scheme
Posted January 22, 2016
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced that on January 11, 2016, the owner of a Florida trucking school was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, one year of supervised release, and fined $30,000 for his role in a fraudulent commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing scheme. In August 2015, the owner and his two of his employees were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in September 2015.
This case was initiated after Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Florida Tax Collector's Office discovered several hundred people applying for CDLs using the same residential address in Seminole County. This address is registered as the principal place of business for the Florida trucking school.
According to OIG’s investigation, the trucking school marketed itself towards speakers of the Russian language and charged students between $1,800 and $5,000 for services in obtaining a Florida CDL. Investigators report that the owner, along with others, helped students cheat on the CDL written exam by using covert communications to supply answers during the testing. They also provided false certifications and other documents to students to satisfy Florida CDL residency requirements. Additionally, the school arranged for students to complete the basic control skills and road test using the same third-party CDL testing contractor. In all, the conspirators made it possible for at least 400 students to obtain fraudulent Florida CDLs.
In addition to fraudulent CDLs, the OIG investigation helped identify CDLs that were issued improperly. In November 2015, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issued letters to approximately 2,000 CDL drivers who were identified as using third-party testers and medical examiners that were not testing properly. Drivers were given a maximum of 60 days to retest or their CDL would be cancelled.
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