Trucking Firm Charged in Alleged Violation of Shutdown Order
USDOT Office of the Inspector General
October 6, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 6, 1999
Contact: Jeff Nelligan
Telephone: (202) 366-6312
A trucking firm based in the city of Mexico, Maine, was charged with conspiracy, making false statements, obstruction of justice and violation of an out-of-service order after it allegedly put trucks on the road despite a safety-related Federal shutdown of the company, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General said today.
Aulenback, Inc., and three principals Alan Archibald, its president; Scott Archibald, its manager; and Susan Plott, its dispatcher are alleged to have allowed trucks to roll on 26 trips between Jan. 29, 1996, and Jan. 31, 1996, despite a full shutdown of the firm by the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety, which administers trucking safety. Out-of-service orders require firms to suspend operations until safety problems are addressed. The Archibalds and Plott are charged with conspiracy, making false statements, violation of an out-of-service order and perjury.
FHWA had shut Aulenback, Inc., down citing violations of federal safety regulations, failure to maintain adequate records, acceptance of false duty reports and other safety-related problems.
Prosecutors say Aulenback, Inc., also falsified drivers' logs and other documents to make it appear the drivers were not on the road during the shutdown. Further, it is alleged the firm and its principals gave false testimony to a federal grand jury about alteration and destruction of the logs and other documents subpoenaed by the grand jury, and made false statements to DOT agents about the unlawful trips.
If convicted on all counts, Aulenback, Inc., faces fines of up to $1.4 million, and the Archibald brothers and Plott each face up to 12 years in prison. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General and Federal Highway Administration's Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety.
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