October 3, 2016
Central Florida Man Sentenced to Prison in Fraudulent CDL Testing Scheme
On October 3, 2016, Adrian Salari was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Orlando, Florida, to 6 months’ incarceration to be followed by 1 year of supervised release for his role in a fraudulent commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing scheme. In August 2015, he and fellow employees Ellariy Medvednik and Natalia Dontsova were charged with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver’s licenses and CDLs. Salari pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in July 2016.
This case was initiated after the Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Florida Tax Collector’s Office discovered several hundred people applying for CDLs were 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 toward speakers of Russian and charged students $1,800 to $5,000 for services to obtain a Florida CDL. The company helped students cheat on the CDL written exam, provided false certifications and other documents to satisfy Florida CDL residency requirements, and 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, DOT-OIG’s 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 had utilized third-party testers and medical examiners that were testing improperly. Drivers were given a maximum of 60 days to retest or their CDLs would be canceled.
This investigation was conducted with the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.