On May 10, 2018, Aziz Akhrorov, a truck driver based in Queens, New York, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn, New York, to conspiring to unlawfully produce commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). Akhrorov was indicted on January 20, 2017.
To prevent or reduce truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries, DOT regulations require States to test the knowledge and skills of all CDL applicants. Between April 2014 and December 2016, Akhrorov and Taras Chabanovych, a co-conspirator in Florida, undermined the CDL testing procedures proctored by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Their scheme caused genuine Florida CDLs and photo IDs to be issued to New York-based applicants, who later exchanged the fraudulently obtained licenses for CDLs from the State of New York.
Akhrorov recruited New York-based CDL applicants, usually of Russian descent, and referred them to Chabanovych. For as much as $2,600 per referral, Chabanovych helped the applicants fraudulently obtain documentation that established bogus Florida residency so they could sit for the exam. He also provided sophisticated video and audio devices, which were concealed on the applicants and transmitted the CDL test to Chabanovych, offsite. Chabanovych supplied the CDL applicants, who were wearing earpieces, with the correct answers to the test.
Chabanovych pleaded guilty on May 24, 2017, to the aforementioned indictment and is awaiting sentencing.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).