Two Convictions in Ongoing CDL Fraud Case in Illinois
Lech Rzedzian, of Wheeling, IL pleaded guilty November 16 in U.S. District Court in Chicago to helping at least 30 people buy commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) by paying bribes to a Florida truck-driving tester. Rzedzian, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges, charged customers as much as $2,000 in exchange for copies of the Florida CDL exam. On November 19, commercial truck driving school instructor Mark Winniczek, of Tampa, Fl, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Chicago to charges of helping at least 1,000 truckers from around the country illegally obtain their CDLs in Florida. Winniczek admitted collecting between $800 and $1,300 from applicants in exchange for referring them to a state-certified CDL examiner, who would give them passing grades in exchange for $200. No sentencing date has been set for either man. The two cases bring the total number of convictions in the ongoing investigation of CDL fraud in Illinois and Florida to 41. The investigation, named Operation Safe Road is being jointly conducted by OIG, FBI, IRS/CID, Postal Inspection Service, and the Illinois State Police.