Activity in three trucking-related criminal cases involving defrauding union benefit funds from employees, various regulations violations and false certification of cargo tanks was recently announced by the Department of Transportation.
The former owner of New Jersey-based Rainbow Transport, Nicholas Farnsworth, was sentenced March 15 to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution after pleading guilty to embezzlement of union funds.
Rainbow Transport included multiple non-union trucking companies all based in New Jersey – Nicholas J, Happy Time, Marky OG and SDT Hauling. According to the DOT’s Office of Inspector General, the group entered into a scheme with Greenwood 2, a unionized trucking company with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282, to defraud union benefit funds from their employees on DOT projects. DOT says Rainbow Transport and Greenwood 2 were subcontractors on projects funded by the Federal Transit Administration, and the amount of fraud to the union benefit funds was approximately $11 million.
Two Virginia trucking companies and four company officials were charged in a 126-count indictment March 16 with conspiracy, falsifying records, false statements, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.
Beam Bros. Trucking (BBT); Beam Bros. Holding Corporation; Gerald Beam, president and CEO; Garland Beam, vice president; Shaun Beam, operations manager; and Nickolas Kozel, CFO, were charged for allegedly defrauding the United States by impeding government functions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Labor and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the OIG. Beam Holding is the sole owner of BBT, according to OIG.
OIG says BBT is one of the nation’s largest contract carriers of mail for the USPS. The company was charged with making trip schedules that violated hours-of-service regulations and falsifying logs to hide HOS violations. BBT also allegedly violated the Service Contract Act, which requires federal contractors to pay its employees for all hours worked.
Garald Bennett of Michigan was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and two years’ supervised release for falsely certifying and marking cargo tanks has having passed hydrostatic pressure tests and wet fluorescent magnetic particle tests, which are required by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act.
Bennett was the manager of LPG Service and Leasing, a cargo tank leasing facility in Cass City, Mich. OIG says he certified that cargo tanks had passed the federally-required tests without actually testing the tanks.