A Pennsylvania woman, who pleaded guilty in a case where she was accused of unlawfully performing U.S. Department of Transportation physicals for commercial drivers, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on July 20.
Joann Wingate of Mechanicsburg, Pa., was sentenced to two years of probation, including six months of home detention, for her role in falsifying medical examiner’s certificates and drug-testing chain of custody forms. Restitution will be determined at a later date.
Wingate pleaded guilty in November 2017 in U.S. District Court to wire fraud and making false statements. Wingate was indicted in September 2016 on 65 counts of wire fraud, making false statements, and aggravated identity theft related to violations of medical examinations and drug and alcohol testing programs for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
According to the DOT’s Office of Inspector General, the investigation disclosed that Wingate:
- falsified FMCSA-regulated medical examiner’s certificates and drug-testing chain of custody forms;
- forged documents by using the identity of an unsuspecting licensed physician and falsified other documents by claiming to be a medical review officer; and
- continued to perform DOT physicals for payment after the Pennsylvania suspended her chiropractic license in 2013.
- Wingate admitted she unlawfully performed DOT physicals for commercial drivers and electronically submitted the false medical examiner’s certificates to state DOTs, according to the Office of Inspector General’s news release. She reportedly falsified the certificates by placing the name, license number and signature of a licensed doctor on them.
Wingate was accused of contracting with a trucking firm to handle its DOT drug and alcohol program requirements even though she wasn’t qualified.
Of the 65 counts Wingate was originally charged for, she pleaded guilty to only three charges: one count of wire fraud and two counts of false documents. Original charges included five counts of wire fraud, 33 counts of false documents and 27 counts of aggravated identity theft, according to the indictment.
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