April 9, 2018
Pennsylvania Bus Company Officials Charged in Reincarnated Carrier Scheme
On February 13 and April 9, 2018, informations were filed in U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, charging Amy Li and Qi Sheng (Sammy) Zhang with conspiracy to defraud the United States. The charges were related to a reincarnated carrier scheme to evade enforcement of motor carrier safety regulations.
In May 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued Imminent Hazard Orders (IHO) and a Record Consolidation Order (RCO) to 4 individuals and 10 commercial passenger bus companies, including but not limited to Li, Zhang, New Century Travel, and Super Luxury Tours (collectively, the affiliated motor carriers), ordering them to cease all commercial motor carrier operations. The IHOs stated that FMCSA had found that the affiliated motor carriers were under the common control and management of New Century Travel, Li, and Zhang, and the continued operations posed an imminent hazard to public safety. At various times prior to the IHOs and RCO, FMCSA placed individual components of the affiliated motor carriers out of service for various safety violations. In fact, FMCSA placed Super Luxury Tours out of service after one of its buses crashed in March 2011, killing two people and injuring dozens.
In June 2013, FMCSA entered into an Agreement and Stipulated Order for Rescission (ASOR) of the IHOs and RCO in which the affiliated motor carriers stipulated and agreed that any subsequent motor carrier operations would be registered and conducted only under the name Black Leopard Travel. In October 2013, FMCSA conducted a mandatory compliance review of Bus Go Bus, a commercial motor carrier located in Massachusetts, and found both serious noncompliance with various safety regulations and that the company was owned and controlled by Zhang, in violation of the ASOR.
The informations allege that from June 2012 to September 2013, Li and Zhang operated Bus Go Bus, although they were prohibited from doing so by FMCSA orders. To regain operating authority, they concealed their involvement with Bus Go Bus so they could continue commercial motor carrier operations while simultaneously feigning compliance with the FMCSA orders. The informations also allege that Li and Zhang conspired to apply for motor passenger authority for Black Leopard Travel from FMCSA, in which they intentionally failed to disclose their affiliation with Bus Go Bus.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with FMCSA’s assistance.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.