News roundup, Jan. 30: False medical exam, CDL scheme, more in latest rap sheet; FMCSA receives petition for another mirrorless tech system

Updated Jan 31, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020: 

FMCSA seeks comment on allowing another mirrorless camera system
The makers of a digital mirror system that replaces the standard rearview mirrors on trucks have requested a waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that require physical mirrors on trucks.

Robert Bosch LLC and Mekra Lang North America, which together created Bosch’s Commercial Vehicle Digital Mirror System, asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to allow trucking companies to use their system. FMCSA has already granted two exemptions to allow similar systems in the U.S. to Stoneridge and Vision Systems North America.

The companies’ system replaces the standard large side mirrors on trucks with two interior monitors and two exterior cameras that are mounted above the cab, which the companies say improves the driver’s view and cuts down on blind spots.

FMCSA is accepting public comments on the request here through March 2.

Pilot kicks off American Heart Month fundraising campaign
Pilot Company, formerly Pilot Flying J, is kicking off its “Life is Why We Give” campaign with a goal to raise $1 million in February in support of the American Heart Association.

Throughout February, drivers who visit Pilot-owned travel centers can donate to the campaign, and Pilot will donate 100% of the proceeds to the AHA. Drivers have several options to make donations:

  • Purchase paper heart icons for $1, $3 or $5
  • Round up purchases to the nearest whole dollar or elect to donate other amounts during checkout
  • Donate online here
  • Follow @pilotflyingj on social media on Valentine’s Day for an opportunity to donate to the AHA

Trucking rap sheet: Falsified medical exams, HHG moving fraud, CDL testing scheme, more
Action in four trucking-related crimes – including falsifying medical exams, household goods moving fraud, a CDL testing scheme and operating a truck without a CDL – has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

  • Florida physician’s assistance arrested for falsifying DOT medical exams
    Ronald E. Sherry, a physician’s assistant, was charged with false entries and obstruction related to fraudulent medical exams of truck drivers. Sherry was an FMCSA-certified medical examiner authorized to conduct physicals for CDL applicants and holders.

OIG says that between March 2018 and March 2019, he made false entries on FMCSA medical certification forms and sent them to the agency. The forms allegedly indicated that he conducted CDL medical exams when he actually had not.

  • New Jersey-based HHG company officials sentenced
    Two co-conspirators in a HHG moving scheme pleaded guilty in November, and one of them has been sentenced to time in prison. Rami Zubidat and Richard Bishara, operators of several New Jersey-based moving companies, pleaded guilty to quoting customers “low-ball” price estimates, then increasing their final prices above the amount allowed by federal regulations.

OIG says the pair created fictitious moving companies and registered them with fake owners and addresses, then when customers made complaints against one company, they would shut it down and create a new one.

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Bishara was sentenced on Jan. 9 to five years in prison and three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $72,709.05 in restitution and a $100 special assessment fee.

  • California trucking school owner sentenced for role in CDL scheme
    Jagpal Singh, the owner of a California trucking school, was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $200 special assessment fee after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to commit bribery, identity fraud and unauthorized use of a computer, as well as identification document fraud.

OIG says Singh participated in a scheme to bribe California DMV employees to provide CDLs to unqualified drivers. Court documents show that Singh bribed two DMV employees, who also pleaded guilty. Lisa Terraciano was sentenced to three years and four months in prison, and Kari Scattaglia was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

  • Louisiana-based logging company owner charged with operating trucks without a license
    Joseph Malmay, the owner of Jack Malmay Logging, was charged Jan. 17 with operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL. An OIG investigation found that Malmay allegedly, in exchange for cash payments, hauled multiple loads of logs within Louisiana and across state lines into Texas.

He was reportedly stopped and cited by Louisiana State Police on three separate occasions because he did not have a CDL and was driving with a regular driver’s license that had expired. OIG found that Malmay allegedly never possessed a CDL or attempted to obtain one.

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