Georgia truck school owner convicted of conspiracy

| 4/21/2004

Federal officials announced that Thomas R. Duke, owner of TTT Truck Drivers School Inc. Macon, GA, has been convicted of 40 counts of conspiracy for falsifying student tests.

He faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine on each count.

DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead stated, "We have identified fraud in the commercial driver's license program as one of the nation's most serious safety problems. The conviction of Thomas R. Duke for these criminal violations should send a strong signal that we will not tolerate inadequate training and false testing of commercial truck drivers.

We must make every effort to ensure that our nation's truck drivers are properly trained and tested before they are allowed to operate commercial vehicles on our highways. This will help us to protect the traveling public."

Following a week-long trial, Duke and TTT were each convicted of making false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and multiple counts of wire fraud.

Evidence showed Duke and TTT conspired with Terence E. Haley to falsify the skills tests of 623 driving school students. Students later submitted the forms to Georgia officials to obtain CDLs.

Terence E. Haley had earlier pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy, testified at the trial and is awaiting sentencing.