MA truck co owner buys himself 1 year probation after failed bribe of FMSCA
Korca Enterprises owner tried to pay off federal inspectors to ignore violations of the FMCSRs
Last week, the owner of a now defunct trucking company, Korca Enterprises, was sentenced in federal court to one year of probation after he attempted to bribe federal investigators who were scrutinizing safety violations of his trucking business.
His punishment also included a $1,000 fine. His sentencing reflected the fact that he cooperated with the law and admitted to his attempted bribery. In some ways, this is truly unbelievable.
But in one important respect, it’s far from abnormal to how I’ve seen how many trucking companies conduct business. As a truck accident attorney of 18 years, I’ve encountered far too many safety directors who believe their job is to aid and abet the trucking company not get caught, instead of making commercial transportation carriers more safe. Most get away with violations. I’ve seen bad trucking companies who lie about hours of service, falsify log books, and utterly fail to maintain a safe fleet of trucks.
This Massachusetts case is something else. I find it incredible that this company owner, Irfan Dushku, actually believed he could bribe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) investigators and have them look the other way.
According to the investigation, Mr. Dushku ran Korca Enterprises Inc., a dangerous trucking operation. The company ran several trucks, and the truckers behind the wheel were putting in long working hours far in excess of the hours of service. The company landed on the FMCSA’s radar in May, 2013. An investigator was dispatched to look into Korca, and to conduct and interview with Mr. Dushku. Shockingly, rather than face the music and do the right thing, Mr. Dushku attempted to pay the inspector $1,000 to ignore the trucking company’s safety violations and issue a clean report.
The FMCSA is far from perfect, and I’ve criticized it from time to time for not doing enough this truck safety and legal blog. I’ve criticized the FMCSA for failing to shut down dangerous trucking companies, and for proposing ineffective or confusing law. But the FMCSA is the federal agency charged with enforcing safety and keeping the motoring public out of harm’s way. And despite its shortcomings, the FMCSA is overall a force for good. I’ve also given the FMCSA several hat tips for stepping up enforcement and safety regulations in the last two months in particular.
Attempting to bribe FMCSA officials is ludicrous. Upon investigation, Mr. Dushku falsified company records conceal his truck drivers’ HOS violations. Mr. Dushku’s attorney maintained that his client is a good person who made a horrible mistake. Mr. Dushku lost his company, and is apparently looking for new ventures.
I sincerely hope that these “new ventures” never include another commercial transport business again.