Florida School Owner Sentenced to Prison for His Role in Fraudulent CDL Testing Scheme
On January 11, 2016, Ellariy Medvednik was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Orlando, Florida, to 12 months and one day in prison, one year of supervised release, and fined $30,000 for his role in a fraudulent commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing scheme. In August 2015, he and his employees, Natalia Dontsova and Adrian Salari, were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs. He pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in September 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 between $1,800 and $5,000 for services in obtaining a Florida CDL. Medvednik, along with others, helped students cheat on the CDL written exam by using 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 using the same third-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 approximately 2,000 CDL drivers who were identified as using third-party testers and medical examiners that were not testing properly. Drivers were given a maximum of 60 days to retest or their CDL would be cancelled.
We are conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Florida Highway Patrol.