A Pennsylvania third-party commercial driver’s license (CDL) examiner is facing 12 wire fraud charges for an alleged scheme to fraudulently provide CDLs.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in November, Roberto Correas, a CDL program supervisor, provided pre-signed CDL skills examination score sheets to co-conspirator Jeffrey Bell and kept applicants’ examination fees rather than submit them to the company.
Correas knew that Bell “would falsely complete copies of that scoring sheet with passing scores for individuals” who paid the $275 examination fee but were not tested by Correas or any other examiner, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (DOT-OIG).
The DOT-OIG says the applicants then were given fraudulently obtained CDLs.
Audit found irregularities
Coreas was a CDL Program Supervisor at the Berks Career and Technology Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania. Third-party examiners are hired by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or PennDOT, to conduct CDL skills examinations in accordance with regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
PennDOT conducted an audit of BCTC, where Bell also worked as a third-party CDL examiner, in fall 2018. The audit identified irregularities in BCTC’s CDL examination program, finding that its CDL examination passing rate was over 90%, significantly higher than the average passing rate in Pennsylvania.
In February 2019, BCTC suspended its CDL testing program after notifying some former students that their licenses were being revoked and they needed to retake their skills tests.
In October 2020, Bell was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Reading.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.