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Third-Party CDL Examiner Sentenced for His Role in a Fraudulent CDL Skills Testing Scheme

On June 21, 2018, Andre Cooper, a third-party commercial driver’s license (CDL) examiner was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Jackson, Mississippi, to 3 years’ probation, a $1,500 fine, and $100 special assessment fee for making false statements. He had accepted cash payments from multiple CDL skills test applicants in lieu of administering the federally mandated test. Instead, Cooper provided the CDL applicants with score sheets, falsely certifying that they had successfully completed the skills test. In fact, they were never tested. Cooper pleaded guilty on April 11, 2018.

The investigation revealed that for 3 years Cooper provided approximately 75 individuals with paperwork that falsely stated they had passed the tests. In exchange, the individuals paid Cooper between $200 and $300 per test. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MSDPS) revoked the CDLs from individuals known to have purchased test results from Cooper. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides funding to help its State counterparts administer CDL programs, which include developing proper testing procedures and overseeing trucking schools and individuals obtaining CDLs. Trucking schools and individual applicants are required to pass an extensive written test and a multipart road skills test, including an in-depth driving test to obtain a CDL and specialized endorsements. Third-party testers such as Cooper are placed in positions of trust and are expected to adhere to FMCSA and State testing requirements and procedures to ensure public safety.

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with MSDPS, Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, and FMCSA Mississippi Division.