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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Carlisle Woman Indicted For Fraud In Connection With Commercial Drivers License Medical Examination

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg indicted Joann Wingate on September 28, 2016, for wire fraud, submitting false documents, and aggravated identity theft as part of a scheme to defraud carried out between 2012 and 2014.  The Indictment was unsealed following the arrest of Wingate by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. 

According to U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Wingate, a 58-year-old resident of Carlisle, used the identity of a licensed physician to administer physical examinations to holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) after her chiropractor’s license was suspended in October 2014.  Wingate also fraudulently claimed to be a medical doctor in order to serve as a medical review officer for drug tests for CDL holders, when in fact she was never authorized to administer drug testing. 

The Indictment alleges that in 2013 and 2014 Wingate fraudulently advertised her medical services at rest stops and gas stations in the Carlisle area; entered into a business agreement with a Carlisle trucking firm to handle the firm’s driver drug and alcohol program requirements, collected urine samples and caused them to be returned to medical laboratories while representing herself to be a medical review officer, completed medical examinations and transmitted false documents to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) develops and publishes standards to test license commercial motor vehicle drivers.  Commercial driver’s licenses issued by states, including Pennsylvania, must meet standards established by DOT.  Commercial vehicle drivers must pass standard examinations prior to obtaining a license and at regular intervals and must possess a valid certificate completed by a licensed medical examiner.  CDL holders are also subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing by a qualified medical review officer.

The Indictment alleges that Wingate’s scheme defrauded CDL holders and the Carlisle-based trucking firm and caused false documents to be generated and submitted in connection with the DOT’s commercial motor vehicle safety program.

The matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott Ford.     

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty in this offense is up to life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

 

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Updated October 19, 2016