Trucking rap sheet: Medical examiners face charges, sentencing in fraud cases; trucking co. charged for illegally repairing tankers

Action in three trucking-related crimes has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice, including medical exam fraud and illegally repairing gasoline tankers.

Owner, two employees of trucking companies charged in illegal repair of gas tankers

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California announced last week the owner of a Corona, Calif., trucking company and two of its employees have been charged after two years of “illegal and unauthorized tanker repairs, culminating with a May 6, 2014, explosion that killed a company welder and severely injured a second worker.”

Carl Bradley Johansson, the owner of National Distribution Services Inc. and its successor company Wholesale Distribution Inc, and employees Enrique “Henry” Garcia and Donald Cameron Spicer were charged in the indictment with participating in a scheme to conduct illegal repairs on cargo tanks used to transport gasoline and to obstruct the U.S. DOT.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Johansson allegedly created WDI to take over NDSI’s operations so he could continue to use tankers that had been placed out-of-service.

The indictment states that after doing in-house repairs on at least a half-dozen cargo tanks, even though NDSI wasn’t certified to conduct the repairs, Johansson and Garcia directed employees to weld a cargo tank. One of the welders allegedly told Garcia it wasn’t safe to weld, but were still required to do so. The welding caused an explosion that killed one worker and injured the man who had warned Garcia, the indictment states.

FMCSA later shut down NDSI, and Johansson allegedly reincarnated the carrier as WDI. Spicer then filed documents with FMCSA to conceal the fact that WDI was just a new name for NDSI.

Johansson, Garcia and NDSI were also charged with one count of welding without required certifications. The welding count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison, while the other counts carry a maximum of 5 years.

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Georgia DOT-approved drug, alcohol screener and nurse sentenced in fraud scheme

Jo Carol White and Tonya Yawn-Lewis were sentenced on March 21 for falsifying DOT-mandated medical exams of CDL holders. White was sentenced to 15 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a $3,000 fine. Yawn-Lewis was sentenced to 20 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a $5,000 fine.

Both had previously pleaded guilty to one count of falsification of records with intent to impede the proper administration of DOT.

DOT’s investigation revealed that White and Yawn-Lewis routinely falsified medical exam reports and medical examiner’s certificates. Yawn-Lewis is a nurse practitioner and was an approved medical examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Alabama woman pleads guilty to scheme to falsify DOT medical exams

Joann Bush pleaded guilty on April 23 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for her role in submitting falsified medical exams to the National Registry.

OIG says that, according to Bush, while working as a medical assistant for Dr. Kenneth Edwards of Phenix City, Ala., she routinely performed DOT medical exams, even though she wasn’t listed on the National Registry and didn’t have a medical license. She admitted that she, Edwards and another employee charged patients for medical exams that didn’t satisfy DOT requirements.

They then uploaded the results to FMCSA, certifying that Edwards performed the exams when he had not.