Florida School Employee Sentenced to Prison for Her Role in a Fraudulent CDL Testing Scheme
On December 21, 2015, Natalia Dontsova was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Orlando, FL, to 10 months in prison followed by 1 year of supervised release for her role in a fraudulent CDL testing scheme. In August 2015, she and fellow employees, Ellariy Medvednik, and Adrian Salari were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs. She pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in October 2015.
This case was initiated after Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Florida Tax Collector's Office discovered several hundred people applying for CDLs using the same residential address in Seminole County. This address is registered as the principal place of business for Larex Incorporated, a trucking school owned and operated by Medvednik.
Larex marketed itself towards speakers of the Russian language and charged students $1,800 to $5,000 for services in obtaining a Florida CDL. Medvednik, along with others, helped students cheat on the CDL written exam by utilizing covert communications to supply answers during the testing. They also provided false certifications and other documents to students to satisfy Florida CDL residency requirements. Additionally, Larex arranged for students to complete the basic control skills and road test utilizing the same 3rd party CDL testing contractor. In all, the conspirators made it possible for at least 400 students to obtain fraudulent Florida CDLs.
In addition to fraudulent CDLs, our investigation helped identify CDLs that were issued improperly. In November 2015, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issued letters to over 2,000 CDL drivers who were identified as utilizing third party testers and medical examiners that were not testing improperly. Drivers were given a maximum of 60 days to retest or their CDLs would be cancelled.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations.