October 13, 2016
Pennsylvania Woman Arrested for Committing Fraud Against FMCSA’s Regulated Alcohol- and Drug-Testing Program
On October 13, 2016, DOT-OIG agents arrested Joann Wingate of Carlyle, Pennsylvania, for her role in a scheme that violated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) regulated alcohol- and drug-testing program and regulations for DOT physicals. In September 2016, a Federal grand jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, returned a 65-count indictment charging Wingate with wire fraud, false statements, and aggravated identity theft.
The indictment alleged that Wingate performed FMCSA-regulated medical exams for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, for payment, although the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had suspended her chiropractic license in 2013. Wingate completed medical examiner’s certificates that falsely indicated she was qualified to conduct the exams. She allegedly falsified other medical examiner’s certificates by using the name, license number, and forged signature of an unsuspecting licensed doctor to indicate that the physician had completed those exams. She faxed the records to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and provided copies to CDL holders. The investigation determined that the doctor had never conducted a DOT physical and did not authorize Wingate to use her name or qualifications.
The indictment further alleged that Wingate contracted with a trucking firm to handle its DOT drug- and alcohol-testing requirements, for payment. She collected urine samples and fraudulently listed her name as medical review officer on the custody of control forms, then mailed the forms to a DOT-certified drug-testing laboratory. The trucking company relied on those false documents to prove compliance with FMCSA regulations.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Cumberland County District Attorney and Sherriff’s Office, with substantial assistance from FMCSA and the Pennsylvania DOT.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.