— Jill Dunn
Indictments allege illegal CDL scheme
Federal officials have stopped an allegedly fraudulent Pennsylvania commercial driver’s license conspiracy operating as the International Training Academy.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said indictments were unsealed Aug. 19 for Vitaliy Kroshnev, 48, and Tatyana Kroshnev, 45, both of Richboro; Leonid Vilchik, 63, Irina Peterson, 37, and Tair Rustamov, 44, all of Philadelphia; Iryna Starovoyt, 45, of Warrington; Khrystyna Davyda, 25, and Viktor Davyda, 18, both of Holland, and Mikhail Aminov, 44, of Brooklyn, N.Y.
The defendants were operating under the auspices of the Kroshnevs’ business, International Training Academy. They allegedly arranged for hundreds of non-Pennsylvania residents to fraudulently obtain Pennsylvania CDLs from 2007 to 2010.
They are charged with providing applicants with false Pennsylvania residency documents and foreign language interpreters who gave applicants the answers to the written CDL permit test. Vitaliy Kroshnev additionally is charged with making a materially false statement, and Khyrstyna Davyda also is charged with making a false statement to a bank.
The defendants could face a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Defendants Vitaliy Kroshnev and Khrystyna Davyda face an additional 5 years and 30 years, respectively, on false statement charges.
— Jill Dunn
DOT expands ban on texting
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he is initiating a new rulemaking to prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while transporting hazardous materials.
In addition, LaHood announced at the 2010 national Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C., that two rules proposed at last year’s summit have now become law. Rules banning commercial bus and truck drivers from texting on the job and restricting train operators from using cell phones and other electronic devices while in the driver’s seat are now posted.
The rule governing texting while transporting hazmat closed a loophole in the ban on truck and bus drivers. It will take effect 30 days after posting in the Federal Register.
DOT has also been working with the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) to engage the private sector to promote anti-distracted driving policies in the workplace.