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FIVE INDICTED FOR TWO YEARS OF FALSIFYING DRIVER’S LOGS

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking

FIVE INDICTED FOR TWO YEARS OF FALSIFYING DRIVER’S LOGS

USDOT Office of the Inspector General
May 11, 1998

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 11, 1998
Contact: Jeff Nelligan
OIG Communications Director
Telephone: (202) 366-6312
http://www.dot.gov/oig
OIG 13-98

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General today announced that five Minnesota men have been indicted for allegedly falsifying driver’s hours-of-operation records in order to evade federal trucking safety regulations, a practice known as "driver’s log fraud."

"One of our investigative priorities is truck driver log fraud, in which drivers of large commercial trucks deliberately misstate their hours behind the wheel," said Inspector General Kenneth M. Mead. "Fatigue is a significant factor in human errors that cause accidents and fatalities, and that’s why federal regulations call for no more than 10 hours of driving followed by 8 hours of rest. Falsifying driver’s logs is an all-too-common method of trying to skirt these regulations."

Indicted were Barry Sather Truck Service, Inc., Brooklyn Park, Minn; Barry L. Sather, Brooklyn Park, the company’s owner; Michael F. Koshenina, Kichfield, Minn., the company’s general manager; and two truck drivers, Kenneth L. Nelson, Betel, Minn., and Samuel L. Sand, Brooklyn Park.

The grand jury alleges in the indictment that, for approximately two years beginning in January 1996, the defendants conspired to make false statements and conceal material facts from the department’s Federal Highway Administration. Specifically, the defendants falsified logs recording the hours that drivers had been operating tractor-trailers; falsified driver’s logs by falsely claiming that two drivers had driven a single truck when in fact only one driver had operated the vehicle; paid and received certain expenses in cash in order to conceal the true nature, source and location of the expenditures; falsified medical records regarding the physical qualifications of drivers; and forged doctors’ signatures.

If convicted, Sather, Koshenina, Nelson and Sand each face a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. The company faces a maximum potential penalty of five years’ probation and a $500,000 fine. Any sentence would be determined by a judge based on federal sentencing guidelines.

The case was jointly investigated by special agents from the Office of Inspector General and the FBI. The Inspector General noted that an indictment is a statement of charges and that all identified individuals and companies are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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