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Owner of Trucking Companies Sentenced for COVID Relief Fraud, Tax Evasion, and Conspiracy in Fatal Gas Tanker Explosion

On November 29, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California sentenced Carl Bradley Johansson to 120 months of incarceration, $1,252,979 of restitution, a $500 special assessment, and 60 months of supervised release. In September 2021, Johansson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to make illegal repairs on cargo tanks—which resulted in an explosion and the death of one employee—and to defraud the U.S. Department of Transportation. Johansson also pleaded guilty to one count of welding without required certifications, one count of tax evasion, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one count of bank fraud. This included fraudulently obtaining more than $667,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, which is funded by the CARES Act.
Additionally, National Distribution Services, Inc. (NDSI), and Wholesale Distribution, Inc. (WDI), both controlled by Johansson, were sentenced on November 29, 2022. NDSI was sentenced to 1 year of probation and an $800 special assessment. WDI was sentenced to 1 year of probation and a $400 special assessment.
In a separate case, which the court included in the sentencing on November 29, 2022, Western Distribution, LLC, another company controlled by Johansson, was sentenced to 3 years of probation, an $800 special assessment, and $667,917 of restitution, which is included in the restitution amount for Johansson.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.