Crime roundup: Another CDL testing scheme, investor pleads guilty in brokerage scheme

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The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General recently announced court activity in two trucking-related crime investigations. Here’s a summary of what happened with each:

Investment company owner pleads guilty after DOT investigation reveals FMCSA violations

On May 26, Bonnie Warren, owner of Oasis Capital, Inc. of Fullerton, Calif., pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles.

The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General conducted an investigation after FMCSA alleged that Oasis was violating FMCSA regulations by accepting money from property brokers for the establishment of trust funds and actually using the money for other purposes.

Trust fund monies are supposed to be maintained for the purpose of providing payments to shippers or motor carriers in cases where the broker fails to carry out its contract.

The investigation found Oasis solicited brokers and accepted payments to establish trust funds only to use the monies for other purposes.

FMCSA suspended Oasis’ privileges to file trust funds on behalf of brokers in January 2010 and began the process of revoking the approximately 500 Oasis trust funds on file with FMCSA.

The DOT OIG conducted the investigation with the FBI with assistance from the FMCSA.

S.C. man indicted for unauthorized administration of CDL tests

A South Carolina man was recently indicted on charges of making false statements related to the unauthorized administering of CDL tests.

Thomas Lindsey was approved by the state of South Carolina as a third party tester, solely for the administration of CDL testing to employees of the North Spartanburg Fire Department.

However, the indictment alleges he administered CDL testing to drivers who were not employed by the fire department. Additionally, the indictment says he did not require all drivers to perform vehicle pre-trip inspections, basic controls or road tests and utilized unapproved locations to conduct testing.

Lindsey collected fees from those he administered the unauthorized CDL tests and instructed drivers to deliver fraudulently completed skills test forms to various South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles locations.

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This investigation is being conducted by the DOT OIG with assistance from the FMCSA and the South Carolina DMV.