September 16, 2019
Rhode Island Trucking Company Owners Sentenced for Falsifying Safety Records
On September 16, 2019, Leslie Cucino and Robert Cucino, Jr., were each sentenced in U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island, to 1 year of probation and a $1,250 fine for violating FMCSA regulations. Robert Cucino, Jr., was also ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.
The sentences follow the Cucinos’ guilty pleas on June 28, 2019, in the same court, and their admission that they had violated FMCSA regulations. The couple was indicted by a grand jury in April 2018 and charged via information on June 17, 2019.
The Cucinos operated two refuse and scrap metal hauling companies. Leslie Cucino incorporated and served as an officer of CDE Corporation (CDE) from March 2009 to December 2015. In January 2015, she incorporated Windsor Hill Hauling and Recycling (Windsor Hill) as a successor corporation to CDE; she also served as a Windsor Hill officer. Robert Cucino, Jr., was the manager of day-to-day operations for CDE and Windsor Hill.
According to charging documents, the Cucinos caused their employees to falsify daily vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs). Specifically, they directed and encouraged drivers for CDE and Windsor Hill to falsely certify on DVIRs that the commercial motor vehicles they operated had “no defects,” although the drivers knew they had serious safety defects that were required to be reported. The Cucinos also told their employees to document any observed safety deficiencies on separate pieces of paper rather than in the federally regulated manner.
DOT-OIG and FMCSA conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police and Rhode Island State Police