Providence VA Service Representative Indicted on Federal Extortion, Bribery, Witness Tampering Charges
PROVIDENCE, RI – The owners of two trucking companies that hauled tons of refuse and scrap metal through Rhode Island and Massachusetts were each sentenced today to 12 months probation and fined $1,250 for directing employees to falsify federally mandated United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) and allow trucks in need of repair to remain on the road and haul waste.
Leslie Cucino, 54, and Robert Cucino, Jr., 49, of Foster, RI, owners of CDE Corporation and Winsor Hill Hauling and Recycling Corporation, admitted to directing truck drivers over a period of years not to report safety defects on the DVIRs as they were required to do. In numerous instances, state police in Rhode Island and Massachusetts pulled over their trucks for safety inspections and issued inspection reports citing many defects, including some serious defects such as faulty brakes. The Cucinos’ regularly instructed drivers to report “no defects” on the DVIR reports.
A significant amount of the companies’ business included hauling fully loaded truckloads of scrap metal to the Port of Providence and to locations in Boston. The companies have since closed.
United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations, enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the USDOT, require that motor carriers require their drivers to prepare a daily DVIR on each commercial motor vehicle operated. The report must be in writing and prepared at the completion of each day's work, and must include at least the following parts and accessories: service brakes, parking (hand) brake, steering mechanism, lighting devices and reflectors, tires, horn, windshield wipers, rear vision mirrors, coupling devices, wheels and rims, and emergency equipment.
The reports, which must be preserved and made available upon demand for review, are the primary means by which FMCSA Inspectors and state law enforcement authorities enforce federal motor carrier safety regulations relating to the safety of the commercial motor vehicles.
Leslie and Robert Cucino, Jr., previously pleaded guilty to failure to comply with Department of Transportation regulations. They were each sentenced today by U.S District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond to 12 months probation and fined $1,250, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Todd Damiani, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
The matter was investigated by USDOT Office of Inspector General and FMCSA, with the assistance of Massachusetts State Police and Rhode Island State Police.