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Manager of cargo-tank testing facility to serve jail time

Defendant falsely certified and marked cargo tanks

Posted April 11, 2017

The manager of a cargo-tank testing facility was sentenced by U.S. District Court, Bay City, Michigan, to one year and a day in federal prison and two years of supervised release for falsely certifying and marking cargo tanks.

The defendant — both personally and through his subordinates — repeatedly and falsely certified to customers that the company inspected and tested the cargo tank portions of tanker trucks used to transport liquid and gaseous bulk cargos, including explosive materials, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan. The Department of Transportation regulations require five-year recertifications on cargo tanks used to transport explosive materials.

Facts of the case

Hydrostatic pressure tests and wet fluorescent magnetic particle tests are required as part of the five-year recertification process.

A tank at the defendant’s company — that should have held the water used to conduct hydrostatic pressure tests — was drained to prevent freezing. The defendant was aware of this, but continued to certify tanks as if the hydrostatic pressure tests had been performed.

Some cargo tanks brought to the facility for testing were not emptied and cleaned properly. As a result, employees were unable to perform the wet fluorescent magnetic particle testing. The defendant falsely certified the cargo tanks as being properly tested and passing inspection.

The defendant instructed company employees to apply certification labels to the cargo tanks even though he was aware testing procedures had not been followed. In addition, he did not verify that procedures were followed when he assigned employees to work on cargo tanks.

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