Investigations

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Trucking Supervisor Imprisoned in Bribes-for-Illegal-CDLs Case

Frank Catanzarite, a former terminal supervisor for Watkins Motor Lines, Inc., Lyons, IL, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Chicago to 17 months prison time for pocketing at least $10,000 in bribes from unqualified drivers who wanted to work for Watkins. In order to meet the company’s need for drivers, Catanzarite and John Nowak, a former safety supervisor for Watkins, recruited non-English-speaking individuals to obtain CDLs issued in Florida. There, a third-party tester took cash to license the CDL applicants without testing their skills. Watkins, in turn, hired the CDL holders, not knowing they were unqualified. Catanzarite allowed the drivers to work for Watkins in exchange $500 to $2,000 apiece, and he gave Nowak $100 to $200 each for his help. In 1998, one of the drivers, Adem Salihovic, triggered a 74-vehicle pileup in California that killed two people and injured 51.