The federal government has charged the owners of a Pennsylvania truck driving school for helping hundreds of out-of-state individuals illegally obtain CDLs through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Vitaliy Kroshnev and Tatyana Kroshnev owned and operated the International Training Academy from at least 2007 through mid-August. The business provided training for individuals trying to obtain a CDL in Pennsylvania.
According to court documents, the driving school also used interpreters to help at least 300 out-of-state applicants pass the classroom portion of CDL exams, and made thousands of dollars per CDL.
Pennsylvania CDLs are restricted to applicants “domiciled in that state,” except under limited circumstances, court documents state.
The complaint alleges that on at least one occasion academy instructors told applicants to not use English while at the Pennsylvania DOT office. Later, interpreters would give the applicants answers to the exams during the computer-based testing.
Court documents show that Khroshnev told an undercover FBI agent this past year that the academy could provide him a “guaranteed” CDL for $2,200, as well as fraudulent residency documents for an additional $300.
As part of the alleged scheme, the academy would help the would-be truckers lie to obtain in-state residency before applying for a Pennsylvania driver’s license, and later a commercial driver’s license.
Vitaliy Kroshnev, Tatyana Kroshnev, Leonid Vilchik, Irina Peterson, Iryna Starovoyt, Khrystyna Davyda, Viktor Davyda, Tair Rustamov and Mikhail Aminov were each charged with one count of knowingly conspiring to produce, aid and abet the production of an identification document without lawful authority.
Federal prosecutors also allege that Vitaliy Kroshnev lied to the Pennsylvania Department of Education about the International Training Academy. Court documents show Kroshnev told the state that his school was not a private school and didn’t offer classes but “merely rented vehicles to applicants for Pennsylvania CDL tests.”
Those charged also stand to lose property used or purchased from proceeds of the scheme, including a 1989 Bluebird Bus, a 1995 International Truck, a 2003 Freightliner Truck and several bank accounts.
– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer