Second refugee pleads guilty in license scam

| 1/16/2002

According to Newsday, a second Iraqi refugee has pleaded guilty in federal court for illegally obtaining a driver's license to haul hazardous materials. He is the second of 20 Middle Eastern men indicted in the case to plead guilty.

Ali Al-Ubiedy was charged with bribing a former Pennsylvania Department of Transportation official to bypass state examinations for truckers to haul hazmat. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12.

The federal charges were announced in late September amid reports that terrorists linked to the nine-eleven attacks might be planning strikes involving hazmat trucks. Federal authorities have since said none of the defendants have been linked to any terrorist plots.

The first man charged, Alawi Al-Barra, pleaded guilty in December to one count of fraudulently obtaining a federal identification document. He admitted paying a license examiner to get the license so he could work at a trucking company.

Robert Ferrari, a former Pennsylvania Department of Transportation examiner, was indicted by a federal grand jury in October and also has been charged in a separate investigation by the state Attorney General's office.