Couple sentenced for operating a fraudulent trucking school
Phillip Ng and his wife are sentenced in New York for helping 500 underqualified truck drivers cheat on their CDLs
A truck driver is a professional driver. He cannot get behind the wheel of a big-rig truck, or any commercial vehicle for that matter, without first obtaining a special license that allows him to drive trucks. This special license is called a commercial driver’s license (a CDL). Obtaining a CDL requires taking a special test that is more difficult than it is to drive a normal motor vehicle.
Drivers must pass a written and a road test, and demonstrate they’re competent and knowledgeable enough to safely operate a semi-truck on our roads.
Obviously, commercial trucks can be very dangerous. As we (sadly) know all too well here at the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, semi-truck crashes can often result in catastrophic injuries or death. So truckers should operate at a higher standard of care, because the potential of causing great harm to others is so much greater in a large truck. It is a responsibility. And one that most truck drivers take seriously.
That’s what makes this story so disturbing. You may recall our blog discussion about a Brooklyn-based truck driving school which helped hundreds of truck drivers cheat to obtain their CDLs. Philip Ng, who operated the “school,” graduated hundreds of unsafe commercial drivers who went on to obtain CDLs. He helped them cheat by feeding them the correct answers on the written portion of the exam. Ng was exposed in the summer of 2013.
Now it appears the saga may finally be over. On January 8, 2015, Ng and his wife plead guilty to helping about 500 CDL applicants fraudulently pass the CDL exam. The DOT called this a “widespread fraudulent test-taking scheme” within the state of New York; but it’s not. Many of these 500 or so truckers may be on the road driving around the country even now. This is something that exceeds just New York. This, and similar scams that likewise jeopardize the public, is a problem throughout the entire U.S.
The scheme was perpetrated by using hidden cameras and other communications equipment to transmit the questions back to the Ngs and their assistants. The camera equipment allowed the test taker’s “helper” to see what was on the test and remotely provide the correct answer. In fact, it has been shown that many of the driving school’s customers did not speak, read or write English. Remember — one of the requirements for a truck driver to be qualified to drive is that they’re proficient in speaking and reading English.
As part of their conviction, the Ngs will forfeit about $200,000 gained in the scheme.