On May 24, 2017, Florida resident Taras Chabanovych pleaded guilty in US District Court, Brooklyn, to an indictment charging him with conspiracy to cause the production of fraudulently obtained commercial driver’s licenses (CDL).
DOT regulations require States to give knowledge and skills tests to all applicants for CDLs to help reduce or prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries. Between approximately April 2014 and December 2016, Chabanovych undermined CDL-testing procedures at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The fraud scheme caused the issuance of genuine Florida CDLs to New York-based applicants who later exchanged them for CDLs in their home State. This scheme also resulted in the issuance of Florida CDL learner’s permits and photo IDs.
For as much as $2,600 a referral, Chabanovych helped CDL applicants obtain documentation establishing bogus Florida residence so they could take the Florida CDL exam. Chabanovych also provided sophisticated video and audio devices, which were concealed on the applicants. They transmitted the CDL test questions to him offsite and he supplied the correct answers to them through earpieces.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.