November 7, 2017
Pennsylvania Woman Pleads Guilty to Fraud Relating to Multiple FMCSA Safety Programs
On November 7, 2017, Joann Wingate, of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and false statements in U.S District Court, Harrisburg. Wingate was indicted on September 2016 on 65 counts of wire fraud, false statements, and aggravated identity theft related to violations of FMCSA medical examination and drug and alcohol testing programs.
The investigation disclosed that Wingate falsified FMCSA-regulated medical examiner’s certificates and drug-testing chain of custody forms; forged documents by using the identity of an unsuspecting licensed physician and falsified other documents by claiming to be a medical review officer (MRO); and continued to perform FMCSA-regulated medical exams for CDL holders, for payment, after the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania suspended her chiropractic license in 2013.
Wingate admitted she unlawfully performed DOT-regulated medical examinations for commercial drivers and electronically submitted the false medical examiner’s certificates to State DOTs. She falsified the certificates by placing the name, license number, and signature of an unsuspecting licensed doctor to indicate that the physician completed those examinations. She also admitted that she contracted with a trucking firm to handle its DOT drug and alcohol program requirements in exchange for payment, even though she was not qualified to act as an MRO. Wingate collected urine samples, completed custody of control forms, and illicitly listed her name as the MRO on the suspect forms. She then mailed the custody forms to a DOT-certified drug-testing laboratory. The trucking company relied on those false documents to prove compliance with FMCSA regulations.
FMCSA, Pennsylvania State Police, Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office, Pennsylvania Department of State, and PennDOT provided substantial assistance with this transportation safety investigation.