Uncovering CDL testing scams
On behalf of Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents on April 17, 2017.
Commercial drivers, particularly those who operate large 18-wheel trucks, are fixtures on highways, freeways and interstates throughout the country. While intimidating in their presence, drivers can only trust that operators behind the wheel are skilled, qualified, and exercise the highest standards of safety.
The bare minimum of those expectations is truck drivers that hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).
The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced a pair of trucking-related criminal cases involving CDL test schemes.
According to the DOT’s Office of Inspector General, Antonio Estuardo Tinti administered a CDL skills test to Gregorio Bozas in Utah. The test saw Bozas drive over multiple curbs, which is considered an automatic failure. Not satisfied with the outcome, Bozas offered Tinti a $150 bribe for a passing score.
Bozas accepted the money. On March 14, he was charged with making a false statement involving the administration of a CDL test.
Two weeks later, two former Detroit DOT employees pleaded guilty to forgery and bribery in a CDL fraud scheme. Calvin Foulks and Michelle Reed accepted more than $4,000 in cash bribes for falsifying documents showing applicants had taken the CDL skills test when they actually failed.
The discovery of the fraudulent plot had more wide-ranging effects. The Michigan Secretary of State invalidated 85 CDL tests, forcing those drivers to retest to restore their driving privileges.
Trust placed not only in truck drivers, but also the authorities responsible for testing them. Giving operators a pass when they fail has severe consequences beyond criminal charges and financial penalties. Anyone sharing the road with them faces the possibility of catastrophic injuries and death.