Action in three trucking-related crimes – including a CDL testing scheme, household goods moving scheme and insurance fraud – has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.
New York trucker sentenced for role in CDL testing scheme
Queens, New York-based trucker Aziz Akhrorov was sentenced to time served, a $1,000 fine and a $100 special court assessment after pleading guilty to conspiring to unlawfully produce CDLs.
According to OIG, Akhrorov undermined the CDL testing procedures at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles by recruiting New York-based CDL applicants, most of whom were of Russian descent, and referred them to his co-conspirator, Taras Chabanovych. For as much as $2,600 per referral, Chabanovych helped the CDL applicants fraudulently obtain documentation establishing bogus Florida residency, then helped them pass the CDL test.
New Jersey HHG moving company employee arrested
Richard Bishara, of Paramus, New Jersey, was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud for his role in a household goods moving scheme.
Between May 2010 and February 2015, Bishara and his co-conspirators allegedly operated multiple companies that low-balled price estimates for moving household goods, loaded customers’ goods onto trucks, then raised prices when the goods were no longer in customers’ control.
OIG says the companies consistently raised their final prices above the federally regulated increase allowed for estimates.
Miami trucking company owner arrested for insurance fraud
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced this month the arrest of Kenny Niebla, the owner-operator of Andoba Trucking Company and Sea Trucking in Hialeah, after he allegedly sold fraudulent insurance coverage with certificates of insurance totaling nearly $60,000 to three local truckers.
Investigators found that Niebla had been collecting monthly insurance premium payments between October 2017 and June 2018. Records showed that Niebla had received $59,675 in premium payments that were never applied towards any insurance policy as promised. Instead, he kept the funds for his own gain, Patronis said.
The scheme was uncovered when one of the trucks was involved in an accident causing over $78,000 in uninsured damage.