On March 13, 2019, in U.S. District Court, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Tian Jian Pan, former president of Universe Bus, Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. Ming Zhong Yu, former manager of Universe Bus, Inc., and safety manager at multiple passenger bus companies, pleaded guilty to a one-count superseding information that alleged a criminal violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Pan, Yu, and 12 others were indicted in March 2016 for their roles in a multi-State scheme to fraudulently operate commercial passenger bus companies.
According to the indictment, the defendants formed, controlled, managed, and operated numerous bus companies and routinely falsified FMCSA Motor Carrier Identification Reports and applications for operating authority. They concealed both the identities of the people who operated the companies and the unsafe condition of the buses. Pan admitted that he and others falsified documents that enabled their companies to obtain operating authority, licenses, stickers, insurance, and other authorities indicating that their buses met Federal and State safety standards. Pan further admitted that he used false identification documents to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in furtherance of the conspiracy, and provided false documents and information to FMCSA during a compliance review.
The indictment also stated that the defendants falsified FMCSA-regulated records related to bus safety, maintenance, and driver qualifications to impede the Agency’s inspections and reviews. Specifically, they submitted false documents indicating that the fraudulent companies had driver safety and training programs in place, when they did not, and false records related to accident registers, hours of service, vehicle maintenance, drug and alcohol testing programs, and their previous company affiliations and associations. Yu admitted that at various times between 2005 and 2012, he failed to maintain accurate records, falsified records, or maintained intentionally incomplete records related to commercial vehicle inspections of buses operated in interstate commerce.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations (DHS-HSI) and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. FMCSA provided substantial assistance.