New Britain Transportation Company, Manager, Admit Falsifying And Destroying Driving Records
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that WISLA EXPRESS, LLC, a New Britain-based transportation company, and its office manager, DARIUSZ SZTEBOROWSKI, 49, of Rocky Hill, have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to their falsification and destruction of driver records required to be maintained under federal motor carrier safety regulations for inspection.
“Federal regulations on passenger-carrying vehicles exist to keep drivers, passengers and American highways safe,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “Transportation companies and their employees who violate these important laws face federal prosecution.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, WISLA EXPRESS, located at 157 Broad Street in New Britain, is a commercial motor carrier that employs drivers to operate vans and minibuses to transport individuals to and from airports, and tour buses carrying passengers to locations outside of Connecticut. SZTEBOROWSKI, a manager of WISLA EXPRESS, was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company, including scheduling driving assignments and maintaining the company’s driving records.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, administers and enforces the federal commercial motor vehicle laws and regulations to ensure that commercial motor vehicle carriers and drivers fully comply with the responsibilities imposed on them to operate their vehicles in a safe and unimpaired manner. Federal regulations prohibit drivers from driving in excess of certain maximum allowable driving hours over defined periods, and require commercial motor carriers to maintain truthful and accurate driving records.
Between September 2008 and September 2011, SZTEBOROWSKI scheduled and assigned drivers to trips knowing that the drivers would be exceeding the regulated limits of on-duty driving time, and also instructed drivers and others to falsify driving logs by recording that the drivers were off-duty during times when they were, in fact, driving. In order to pay drivers for time actually spent working for WISLA, STZEBOROWSKI instructed drivers to submit separate pay sheets and notes that accurately detailed their hours. SZTEBOROWSKI then destroyed the pay sheets and other documentation that accurately recorded the drivers’ hours.
In response to an FMCSA investigation of WISLA that was initiated in August 2010, SZTEBOROWSKI produced the falsified driver logs and withheld other records that would conflict with the logs.
On February 22, 2013, SZTEBOROWSKI pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of submitting a false statement to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Yesterday, WISLA pleaded guilty before Judge Martinez to the same charge.
Sentencing has been scheduled for May 17, 2013. SZTEBOROWSKI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and fine of up to $250,000. He also has agreed to a three-year term of supervised release during which he cannot be involved, directly or indirectly, in WISLA or any other business under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
WISLA faces a maximum term of probation of five years and a fine of up to $500,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein commended the investigative efforts of the agents of the New England Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial Safety Division has provided valuable assistance to the investigation.
This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Felice M. Duffy and David E. Novick.
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