Driver gets 18 months for falsified logbook

Jill Dunn | May 09, 2012

A federal judge has sentenced a Philadelphia trucker to 18 months in prison for falsifying his logbook in connection to a sentence he was already serving for vehicular homicide.

On May 7, U.S. District Court Judge James Knoll Gardner sentenced Valerijs Nikolaevich Belovs, 58, on 15 counts of making false statements in connection with a falsified log book, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The Philadelphia judge also fined Belovs $1,000, levied a $1,500 special assessment and prohibited him from operating a commercial vehicle without court permission.

In October, Belovs pleaded guilty to the charges for 15 false logbook entries made in the 13 months leading up to his Jan. 23, 2009 crash.  Three days before the crash, he had left Guadalupe, Calif. with a load of broccoli bound for South Philadelphia and New Jersey’s produce markets, according to the U.S. transportation inspector general.

Belovos had kept four logbooks, each falsified to fit possible situations with authorities.  One example cited was that on Jan. 22, he said he had been in his sleeper berth in Wyethville, Va., when he actually had been driving to Pennsylvania.

The day of the accident, Belovs had been eastbound on Interstate 76 in Philadelphia when he rounded a curve and encountered stopped rush hour traffic. His Kenworth rear ended a car, causing a crash chain reaction for four more vehicles. The driver of the car Belovs hit died, his passenger sustained serious injuries and four other commuters were treated at local hospitals.

The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas sentenced Belovs to 23 months in prison and a $300 fine on April 26, 2010. He had pleaded guilty to various state charges, including a vehicular homicide department.

The U.S. DOT’s Office of Inspector General reported that, though the truck had a seven-week old inspection sticker, the brakes were severely worn. Belovs drove for Victor Kilinitchii of Philadelphia, who leased drivers to the three trucks he owned. The sticker had been provided by Philadelphia’s Pratt Auto, which was owned by Joseph Jadczak Jr. of Milton, Del.

Belovs had told OIG investigators he had brake trouble on his trip to and from California. Near, Chicago, he said he telephoned Kalinitchii, who refused to approve a repair and ordered him to deliver by 1 p.m. Jan. 23. After that, Belovs contacted Kalinitchii again over steering problems while braking and the truck owner said he would have the brakes checked when he returned the truck in Philadelphia.

Later, Kalinitchii and Jadzack told authorities the stickers had been purchased without inspection or necessary repairs, according to the DOT inspector general’s office.

The same day Belovs was sentenced, the Montgomery County court sentenced Kalinitichii to 23 months in prison, a $2,000 fine and $26,000 in restitution, while Jadczak was sentenced to 23 months incarceration and fined $1000.

  • Jason Haggard

    If they keep the wrecks waiting to happen off the road then we wouldn’t have this problem. No job is worth a human life!!!

  • Marty Marsh

    Did you notice that only the driver took all of the heat.Hey Jason it was just inspected.

  • Graham Whittingham

    No it wasn’t inspected. He bought the sticker from a shop. The truck owner and the owner of the shop that sold him the sticker both got 23 months incarceration.
    It pays to read all of the story instead of the first page.

  • Marty Marsh

    I didn’t know there was more than one page,I stand corrected.

  • michael Hammerbeck

    Guys like this give us honest drivers a bad name. He should have gotten life. You take a life you get the needle.

  • samuel olessi

    I feel if you drive for a company and you tell them you have a problem on the road and they tell you to keep driving and wait to you get back home stop the truck do not drive call the dot in the area you are in and have them put the truck out of sevice you may not have a job any more but you will not kill anybody. most companies do not care about you or anybody on the road the rates are cheap its hard to pay for repairs. and the dot or the fed’s do not care they will not do anything about the cheap rates that are pushed on truckes by shippers and brokers they do not care. so you are are your owne. my family went with out food not long ago so i can buy drive tires and i do not work unless i am going to make money on the haul the truck will sit and at this time i have been sitting for 2 weeks

  • Mr marvel

    We have all at one time are another lied on our logs. Either by way of greed by way of a shipper or receiver screwing us over or just to gain some desperately needed r&r with our family’s. I feel that common sense is nessacary if your tired stop better late than dead or in jail. No ones life is worth what’s in the back of your rig. Common sense is the key to safe an happy trucking. What if it were our family’s in front of us as we dozed off or came up on stopped traffic. I lost my mom to a semi that had bad brakes. I’ve driven for twenty years and have seen my share of mishaps. We have no fear of what we do that’s why we have this type of job. We know what these trucks are capable of either by mistakes of our own or the mistakes of others. So be wise and learn from others be it misfortune or not

  • XXXoutlaw Trucker

    It pays to inspect the truck often; also, NEVER drive in the RH lane during rush hour traffic be it morning or afternoon. This should be the law for commercial vehicles. It’s enforced in/around Zanesville OH…Darned good law! DOT, please take note. This should be a nation wide law during rush hour traffic and would actually HELP truck drivers. Many of the foolish decisions rendered recently have actually served to make the drivers job more difficult. It’s as if some FOOLS have decided that although they have never driven a commercial vehicle; they know best how a driver should spend each waking hour. When I attended school for a CDL I became responsible not only for the load of freight aboard the truck but also for every non-driving idiot driving in my vicinity; even though some of them seemed determined to become hood ornaments. Thank God I survived, although I must confess that I may have scared some of them into hell or it, out of them. Many of the “changes” have really served to make it more dangerous. The american trucker is a symbol of American Independence and my hat is off to everyone of them but they have to keep a legal logbook; after all, that Logbook keeps you alive!!!

  • Deborah Lipsitz

    I read the article three times now, all of it. Neither the company, nor the service shop that sold them the inspection sticker, got so much as a fine or letter of warning.

    Lessons learned? First, the driver is always at fault if the vehicle was moving, no one else will ever be held responsible. Second, there will always be some moron willing to risk the lives of others to make their employer money. Third, companies would rather hire said morons than someone who is compliant and safe, because they know they will never face any real consequences like the morons they hire will.

    In today’s transportation industry, corporate profits always have more value than human life. Welcome to the not-so-new reality.

  • Ron Watts

    For those who said the company and garage were not fined in spite of reading the article, here is a little internet reading tip for you:

    Right below the advertisement is a little row that includes buttons/links for 1, 2, >>, and LAST.

    This means the article is MORE than one page in length. There are only about 2 paragraphs on PAGE 2, but they ARE part of the article. If you had clicked on the 2 or the >> or the Last, you would have seen these paragraphs and learned that BOTHH the trucking company and the shop that sold the bogus inspection WERE in fact fined and jailed.

  • Andy Specht

    He should have received the max fine per log violation. Not just a few hundred dollar fine. There is no excuse to run that illegal.
    His jail time should be in line with that of any other driver, be it 4 wheeler or big truck. Until our job classification is changed to skilled labor from unskilled, there should be no difference in the sentencing. There are many instances when the driver in a 4 wheeler caused this kind of carnage and received no jail time. You want the penalties to be higher, change our job classifications to accurately reflect what is required of us.

  • Robert Underwood

    It does indeed say that the owner of the truck and the owner of the shop were both fined and sentenced to jail time. (page 2) Every driver has the RIGHT and RESPONSIBLITY to operate safely and legally. Stop blaming companies, shippers, law enforcement, and anyone else you can think of to blame. If it was easy everyone would do it. So what? Dead is still dead, and for a load of Broccoli? This driver had more than one opportunity to stop. HE continued. He falsified. BUT HE STILL DROVE. The shop and the company owners share responsibility right up to the point where the driver fires up the truck. After that, its the driver. Sad but true that in this industry there are this kind of operations that will cut corners on maintenance either through greed or through the quality of drivers they hire. These penalties are good news. If these companies are run out of business the roads get safer. If these drivers never get another chance to climb under the wheel the roads get safer.

  • You missed me big truck

    The rest of the story….Page 2

    Driver gets 18 months for falsified logbook

    May 9, 2012

    | by: Jill Dunn

    Belovs had told OIG investigators he had brake trouble on his trip to and from California. Near, Chicago, he said he telephoned Kalinitchii, who refused to approve a repair and ordered him to deliver by 1 p.m. Jan. 23. After that, Belovs contacted Kalinitchii again over steering problems while braking and the truck owner said he would have the brakes checked when he returned the truck in Philadelphia.
    Later, Kalinitchii and Jadzack told authorities the stickers had been purchased without inspection or necessary repairs, according to the DOT inspector general’s office.

    The same day Belovs was sentenced, the Montgomery County court sentenced Kalinitichii to 23 months in prison, a $2,000 fine and $26,000 in restitution, while Jadczak was sentenced to 23 months incarceration and fined $1000.

  • Bonnie MacPherson

    There is nothing on page 2 about fines or jail time. I did not see anymore >>> to go to another page. So where did “you missed me big truck” find the last paragraph?

  • yendor_65

    I agree the driver deserved the sentence he received,the shop owner’s sentence was about right as well. However, the trucks owner REFUSED to fix the brakes on the road. The BRAKES, only one of the most important safety systems on the truck. His sentence should have been much more severe as his refusal to fix the brakes showed depraved indifference to the lives of the motoring public and in fact did result in the loss of human life.

  • J Smith

    The thing is he was running like an outlaw with 4 logs and that caused the accident. he was probably sluggish from exhaustion.

    Might would have happened whether he had been running within confines of the law or not, but may have been much less consequences if he had been running one law book.

    I drive trucks and all but have no sympathy for someone that puts everyone at risk. He should be put in jail for the max sentence and have to pay restitution for what he did.

  • james loar

    What I do not understand is that nothing says he was in violation at that moment. It only states that his brakes were severely worn. Severally warn does not mean to the point they will not do their job. How is it that just because your log book was incorrect for a previous timeframe you are guilty of something now other that the logbook violation. In that case anyone involved in an accident and the person in the vehicle you hit dies you should get convicted of the same charge. Because it was a CMV had nothing to do with it from the info they gave on this other than it is heavy and does more damage than something light…

  • Don Saunders

    The guy had four logbooks and they only found 15 false entries over 13 months? INCREDIBLE!
    What would they have found if the truck had a qualcomm??
    Here’s a clue, drivers! If you can’t get the job done in a legally-run 70 hour week and make at least $15/hr for those 70 hours, you are being dangerously exploited. In this economy, your only choice is to quit and be replaced by some outlaw that is willing to operate illegally!! Your outlaw employer and everybody else demanding unreasonably short trip times are always gonna disclaim illegal behavior and say the driver went rogue!
    We are at the point that mature, responsible drivers need to just refuse to perform illegal timelines and report their company, when fired!

  • ohwow

    I have been looking and I do not see a page 2 just facebook, email, twitter, and comments. So where is the full story?

  • Pol Vann

    The law should be more difficult for people to obtain their driver license. Everyone should attend class and learn important skills while on the road. Just like guns law, you have to pass your physical test, pass psychological evaluation,back ground check,this would create more driving schools, increase more revenues and jobs better off more public transportation. I ‘ve seen a lot of idiots out there including my family think they can bully truckers or even stop in middle of a high way while my truck with 78 k coming down the hill. I came close a few time, but I learn to expect the the expected

  • Todd Dills

    The page 2 link is just below the advertisement if you’re reading on your desktop or laptop.

  • Don Saunders

    Few companies employing drivers could stay in business IF THEY HAD TO PAY FOR educated drivers that would “say no” to being asked to cheat on hours. Few drivers would feel that they were being properly compensated if their hour were truly restricted to legal!
    Fair, proper compensation would be a $1400 salary in exchange for 70 hours of legal running (that’s $20/hr straight time or $15/hr with overtime and doubletime) A salary would also end the “free lumping” controversy by not just paying a driver for miles!

  • Pete Wusow

    Four log books is a CRIME!
    If your truck is not road worthy then DONT DRIVE IT.
    There are 1000’s of trucking jobs out there…..
    If you are working for Shady Jake Trucking……. Take a hint,,,,Shady is not his name……. Its his way of doing business and treating his drivers as dollar signs…..
    My BOSS rocks,,,, i get paid very well, my truck is fixed instantly if and when needed,,,, and if i cant drive because of time running out or just too tired,,,,, he understands 100%.
    My boss is not greedy and he runs his company the best he possibly can.
    I will never push the limits,,,,,, i like my freedom,,,, and I respect everyones life who I encounter on the road.
    This driver should never be aloud a CDL ever,,,,,,never ever
    Very sad story….. God Bless the families.

  • channelcatt

    It was an accident!! Working people should never get jail time for an a accident ,

    working his rear off probably 18 hrs a day for peanuts so you welfare people can eat

  • Barbara Morgan

    This is why laws and fines need to be put on dispatches and brokers they don’t care about hours of service they just want the load there. there is a broker in tuscaloosa al. by the name of Joel rush that gives 72 hours not from the time u load but from the time he gives u the load to get from south ms. to Portland or if your not there u buy the load. He needs to be put out of bussiness

  • dufus joystick

    don saunders has it right. did not work for 2 yrs. because of all the illegal low paying scum companies out there. fmcas a joke so are state and fed dot. tuen the sucm in and nothing changes still the same as always

  • rich charles o/o

    1.Page 2 is there,and it cites a rediculously short jail sentence and fine.Looking at the names,I would have to say foreignors with lack of regard for US laws.They come here on school visas and stay and start businesses because as another person put it,we ARE considered NONSKILLED LABOR! It doesn’t matter what town or what highway a driver is on.Early morning means rush hour,be prepared,especially on winding roads.And,unless he was absolutely new to the Philadelphia area,sorry,but he should have known,The Schuykill is always backed up east bound in the mornings,westbound in the afternoon.
    As far as his logbooks go,”4″ logbooks to do his job!! Produce hauling is tough for even teams to do cross country,and this guy was doing it solo?? I believe the owner of this company got off lite.He should be facing life in prison,he created the situation.As far as the driver reporting he asked about getting repairs done while out on the road,”He ran 4 logbooks!! He’s an admitted liar already!!
    We are only “Professional Drivers” in name.It looks good for the industry.Treat Me as a Professional,respect my observations of the equipment I operate.Repair a problem when I bring it to your attention.The money it costs to repair a truck or trailer at a “real shop”,is so much cheaper to do than paying for someones LIFE,or the jail time a driver must serve,or the hospital bills you will incurr.
    whether its a person in a car,on a motorcycle,bicycle,pedestrian,school bus,or even another truck driver,NO ONE DESRVES TO DIE AT THE HANDS OF SOMEONE WHO IS NEGLIGENT IN THEIR JOB,OR BEHIND THE WHEEL OF ANY VEHICLE OR MACHINE.These people in this story got off easy.

  • John Savi

    Ok, running with 4 log books is completely outlaw. The same about severely worn brakes. For those two reasons I blame the driver. But, it was stated, that as he rounded a curve, traffic was STOPPED. I’ve encountered that many times in unfamiliar areas. At that moment, he could have been slightly distracted then noticed the stopped traffic ahead. So without any overhead pics or a video of the scene, you really can’t put 100% of the blame on the driver. I mean, if your hauling ass and are coming around a curve in the highway in which you don’t have an unobstructed view of at least 1/8th to 1/4 mile ahead of you and then all of a sudden you run up on traffic that is at a standstill, your now in a panic stop situation that only your skill will get you out of to avoid a collision.

  • JD longtimer

    hello everyone!!! get up and sell the roses. this shit has been going on for a long time. and who,s fault is it??? ours as drivers. when are we all going to group together and do something. ” oh forgot ” we cant all stick together. there will always be some clown who will do it if not us. companies, the goverment, and the oil tikes are all making money on us. its a shame this clown isnt getting more. He should never be able to see a truck driving job again. as a driver he should have known better, but he was just a steering wheel holder.

  • gregbo

    The HOS rules are intended to ensure that drivers get enough rest, not that anybody gives a crap about the driver, only to protect the 4 wheelers. Companies use the rules to work drivers at far less than minimum wage. Drivers respond by falsifying their logs so they can make a few more bucks. All so the economy can benefit from cheap freight. If Walmart employees were expected to work 14 hour days and 70 hours a week and sleep in a truck 5 or 6 hundred dollars they’d burn down the store and be deemed heros in the press. But truck drivers do it without
    I bought my own truck and pick my own loads. I don’t haul cheap freight. I rarely work a 14 hour day. I get home every friday and go back out on Monday. I don’t fake my logs because I make a decent living with honest logs.
    OTR company truck drivers are the most underpaid workers in the country. Unfortunately, in the current economy, there is a steady stream of new driving school grads who don’t yet know this. It’s all about cheap freight and the federal government is as guilty as the big trucking companies by exempting the industry from the labor laws every other employee takes for granted.

  • gregbo

    Mean’t to say:
    If Walmart employees were expected to work 14 hour days and 70 hours a week and sleep in a truck for 5 or 6 hundred dollars a week they’d burn down the store and be deemed heros in the press.

  • TWade

    This driver could have said no at any time but he never and so the question is why did he keep driving? You all can blame the government, four wheelers, your dispatcher, drivers failure to form a group that will take care of you, or the trucking companies. The problems that most drivers have starts every morning by the person looking back in the mirror because he is afraid to speak up for himself. You hear drivers everyday talking about how abused they are but that is all they do is talk. This driver is where he is because of his own actions or lack of. Grow up and become a man and stop waiting for someone else to fight your battles for you. If you can’t speak up to who can make a difference then shut up. The more you say about how big a hero you are, means that more then likely that your not.

  • espfan

    He shoould`ve had his CB on

  • roadman169

    I hear this “my dispatcher made me do it” crap all the time.lf you’re too tired or the truck is junk dont drive it.The responsibility to make the final decision on whats safe and what isnt lies directly on your shoulders.As far as the trucking companies,shippers/receivers are concerned the driver is nothing more than a piece of meat anyway so why would you risk ruining your life or anyone elses for some fly by night trucking company or some customer that doesnt respect you enough to let park on their property or use their washrooms?To hell with them and if they dont treat you right find a new job,lord knows theres a million of them.

  • Mike Jones

    He was driving approx 900 miles per day at time of impact and for how many days or weeks? He was probably Delirious by the time he rounded that curve..not WELL RESTED and alert as ya might imagine….4 log books is only needed if you do back to back long hauls like this one from Cal…..he was probably fairly well wiped out mentaly…oh gee stopped traffic…hmmm no brakes….oh well……if ya see an 18 wheeler Run For Your Life..many companies are running EXACTLY like this guy.

  • LadyGearJammer

    He should have had his cb on????? He shouldnt be running 4 logs, he shouldnt have been running a truck with faulty brakes! wtf

  • Don Garms

    Re-read the last paragraph. The drive, the owner of the truck and the owner of the shop all got 23 months plus fines.

  • eksine

    it’s no accident. i see agressive drivers tailgate 4 wheelers and me all the time. most likely he wore out his brakes cause he brakes too hard because he tailgates and drives aggressively. if his equipment is unsafe to drive he must refuse to work plain and simple. you need to stop doing the cocaine your on and get with reality

  • eksine

    and he has 4 falsified logbooks, how do you explain that? you can’t, he knows what hes doing and his evils have caught up with him

  • eksine

    you can’t blame the driver? are you nuts? its your job to keep a safe following distance. so if a civilian car hits and kills another civilian because he was rounding a blind corner he is not at fault? what crack are you smoking? can i have some?

  • notajackass

    Would you like to go to prison for trying to buy crack?

  • notajackass

    Finally someone with some sense…

  • bob

    I’m glad the owner got punished. More should be, on a regular basis for doing things like this one did.

  • bob

    I also think the top carriers and the federal government are in cahoots. Grants ensure that steady stream of newly trained drivers. Crummy companies get that cash for their 2.5 week training programs. Then these companies have more driver fodder to trash and abuse and encourage/require to break all the rules. They kick them to the curb if they don’t do what they are told, and even sometimes, according to forum comments, put false statements on their records to make them un-hirable. I once went to a freight company someone recommended as a pretty good place to work. To visit I had to go through two bulletproof Plexiglas walls. The immediate thought was what are they doing to their drivers to require this? And this goes hand in glove with what a former dispatcher for a major name carrier told me: she said the entire system was rigged to rip off the driver any way possible. It’s no wonder this industry is always crying for drivers. I think your way, is the only way to go in this industry, with the possible exception of a very small company with someone who is a decent, honest, well-rounded, Christian human being.

  • american

    In the oil field water hauling business, I’ve only ever seen one company which wanted their drivers to follow HOS rules and to not drive a truck which was unsafe. The other 96 to 99% expect on a regular basis for their drivers to ‘move logbooks around’ as it suits the company. Drivers who don’t do this become second class employees, do not get a full time work week when things are slow, and get overtime only after the other drivers or when absolutely needed. The owners and higher ranking managers will always say they want drivers to follow rules, but the pushers do the opposite as it suits them. The only people DOT ever seem to catch are lax liars. They don’t even have the staff or time to do their jobs right, or are self-deluded. A DOT officer if allowed and if desired could catch cheaters all day long. In my experience, the government does what government regulatory bureaucracies typical do: fail to sufficiently enforce, create an unfair economic playing field, punish the honest law-abiding citizen, reward the law breaker, and encourage the public to lie and cheat.

  • n5ifi

    Irony is a government that spies on it’s citizens, makes mistakes by the millions all the way from the local level to the Federal level. No fines. Some government mistakes kill innocent people and nary a thing is ever done to any of those people. Then on the other hand you have the truck driver who gets fined and put in jail for falsifying a log book (in some cases just making an innocent mistake) and they wind up with a huge fine or in jail. God, what have we become?

  • Joe

    4 wheelers should have to log their time and miles , also. While you are at it lower your wages to match ours and have someone tell you that you can only go home to see your loved ones once every 6 weeks to 2 months. If you 4 wheelers had to abide by all the rules and regs that we live with every day, you would all be in jail. That would be a good thing. Then we could drive without worrying that one of you with a death wish is not going to run under our rig and commit suicide. You’re all dumber than a bag of hammers!! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.