October 26, 2018
Florida Man Sentenced for His Role in a CDL-Testing Fraud Scheme
On October 26, 2018, Taras Chabanovych was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, to 60 days’ time served, 2 years’ supervised release, a $226,620 criminal forfeiture, and a $100 special court assessment. Chabanovych pleaded guilty on May 24, 2017, to an indictment that charged him with conspiracy to cause the production of fraudulent commercial driver’s licenses (CDL).
DOT regulations require States to test the knowledge and skills of all CDL applicants to reduce and prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries. Between approximately April 2014 and December 2016, Chabanovych fraudulently undermined CDL-testing procedures at the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. As a result, genuine Florida CDLs were issued to New York-based applicants, who later exchanged them for CDLs in their home State. This scheme also led to the issuance of Florida CDL learner’s permits and photo IDs.
For as much as $2,600 per applicant, Chabanovych helped CDL applicants obtain documentation establishing bogus Florida residence so they could take the Florida CDL exam. He also provided sophisticated video and audio devices, concealed on the CDL applicants, that transmitted CDL test questions to Chabanovych offsite, allowing him to supply correct answers to the applicants through earpieces.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security Investigations.