Truck company owner gets year house arrest

| 8/14/2003

The owner of a former Wolcott, IN, trucking company who tried to save his failing business by forging temporary truck registrations was sentenced to one year on house arrest and three years on probation, the Indiana Journal and Courier reported.

Gary M. Cocarro, 44, will have to move back to White County from Panama City, Fla., to serve his house arrest, according to Judge Robert Mrzlack's sentencing order Aug. 11 in White County Superior Court.

Cocarro, who owned Rocket Express and later Thunderbird Transport, pleaded guilty to one count of inducing forgery and three counts of theft for forging temporary vehicle registrations 56 times between May and August 2002.

The scheme was uncovered when one of Cocarro's drivers was stopped by police in Florida, and a police officer recognized that the temporary registration was a forgery. Indiana officials were notified, and the Indiana Department of Revenue opened an investigation.

When it came time to renew registrations on his fleet of 37 trucks in May 2002, Cocarro said he had only $50,000 of the $72,000 he needed for the plates. So he went to his files, took out old temporary permits from past truck purchases and changed information, including vehicle identification numbers, year and make of the trucks, states of travel and dates registered.