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Lancaster Truck Company And Owner Sentenced For Logbook Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2012

 

ALLENTOWN - Dean A. Landis, (45), of Willow Street, PA, was sentenced today to five years probation, including 12 months home detention, while his trucking company, D.A. Landis Trucking, Inc., located in Lancaster, PA, was sentenced to four years probation, in connection with a conspiracy to falsify driver daily logbooks. In addition to the probationary terms, U.S. District Court Judge James Knoll Gardner ordered Landis to pay a criminal fine of $15,000 and a special assessment of $100 and ordered the trucking company to pay a $250,000 fine, to implement a comprehensive compliance and ethics plan, and to pay a $4,400 special assessment.

Between 2007 and 2009, Landis instructed trucking company drivers to prepare and maintain false and fraudulent driver daily logbooks to conceal violations of federal highway safety regulations. Landis pleaded guilty March 16, 2012 on his own behalf and on behalf of his truck company.

Between January, 2008 and July, 2009, D.A. Landis Trucking, Inc. hauled milk from approximately 700 individual dairy farms in Southeastern Pennsylvania to large dairy processors. At least 20 of these loads allegedly tested positive for beta lactum antibiotics using FDA-approved screening tests and were condemned and ordered to be destroyed by the dairy processor. Dairy processors, based on information from D.A. Landis Trucking, Inc., reported to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the condemned milk was dumped at a local farmer's manure pit in Willow Street, Pennsylvania. In truth, however, the drivers of the rejected loads were told by Dean Landis, to return the condemned loads to the trucking yard, where they were pumped into another truck. D.A. Landis Trucking, Inc. drivers then delivered the condemned loads of milk to Lebanon Cheese Company in Lebanon, New Jersey. Defendant Joseph Lotito, charged separately, purchased the condemned milk for approximately $4 per hundred pounds, where the going rate for raw milk at that time ranged from approximately $12 to $23 per hundred pounds, depending on the intended end use. The drivers and the owner of the trucking company were paid in cash. Lotito and Lebanon Cheese Company used the milk in the manufacture of ricotta cheese, which was then distributed to customers.

The trucking company was also charged with making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the United States Department of Transportation (“USDOT”). The defendants instructed employees to prepare two sets of driver’s logs, one of which was false and intended for USDOT to conceal violations of federal motor carrier safety regulations from federal and state officials and agents who reviewed and inspected the drivers' daily logbooks. Drivers were allegedly instructed to complete false “Daily Trip Sheets” in which the drivers falsely entered on-duty and off-duty times and falsely certified to the truthfulness and accuracy of the logbook entries. The defendants dispatched the company's commercial truck drivers on trips which defendants knew required excessive hours of driving time and excessive hours of "on-duty" time, without allowing for the required hours of rest or "off-duty" time.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John J. Pease.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

 

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