September 5, 2019
FMCSA Debars Former Pennsylvania Bus Company Managers
On September 5, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) debarred two former Pennsylvania bus company management officials for a 5-year period. Shiao Wen Hsieh and Ming Di Yu previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and were sentenced in Federal court. In March 2016, a Federal grand jury charged 14 individuals, including Hsieh and Yu, with multi-State conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud connected to their fraudulent operation of commercial tour bus companies. The indictment contained a forfeiture count to secure assets totaling $7,731,019 in the event of a conviction.
The investigation revealed that Hsieh and Yu, among others, formed, controlled, managed, and operated numerous bus companies—including All-State Travel Bus, Asia Tours, Apex Bus, New Egg Bus, and Universe Bus—and routinely falsified FMCSA Motor Carrier Identification Reports and applications for FMCSA operating authority. Their activities concealed the identities of the people operating the companies and also that the buses were unsafe. Hsieh and Yu admitted that they incorporated their companies in Pennsylvania and had falsely represented that they were headquartered, maintained, and garaged there as well. In fact, the companies operated out of New York City. The false documents enabled the defendants to obtain operating authority, along with licenses, stickers, and other authority, indicating that the buses met Federal and State safety standards. In addition, incorporating in Pennsylvania but operating in New York reduced their insurance costs.
The investigation further revealed that the defendants conspired to falsify FMCSA-regulated records related to bus safety, maintenance, and driver qualifications to impede Agency inspections and reviews. Specifically, they submitted false documents indicating 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.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Department of Homeland Security–Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, with FMCSA’s assistance.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Award Management should be consulted to find out whether a company is currently excluded.