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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Supervisor Arrested of Taking Bribes from Company Officials

On January 21, 2011, James H. Wood, a supervisor of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) Buffalo, New York, field office, was arrested and charged with accepting bribes in his official duties from or on behalf of motor carriers.  The offense carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.     

Our investigation revealed that Mr. Wood accepted bribes from safety consultants for Canadian commercial trucking companies who paid him to provide inside information that enabled some trucking companies to avoid or delay inspections of their vehicles.  Mr. Wood also accepted cash bribes to initiate compliance audits that could put a competitor company out of business, and at times Mr. Wood helped trucking firms get friendly audits that allowed companies to keep potentially unsafe vehicles on the road.  A cooperating witness admitted to paying approximately $70,000 to Wood over the past two years for information and assistance. OIG is working closely with FMCSA to assist them in taking follow-up actions.  

This investigation is being worked jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  

Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.