Prosecutors say a truck driving school in New York used a jacket equipped with a video camera and posted a helper in a nearby van to relay test answers so students could pass state CDL examinations.
Yin Wai Philip Ng and his wife, Pui Kuen Ng, both 48, ran the N&Y Professional Service Line commercial vehicle driving school in Brooklyn, NY. The couple allegedly helped hundreds of students pass commercial driver’s license exams, according to news releases issued by the United State Attorney’s Office.
According to a news release from federal prosecutors, an undercover agent working for the federal government was picked up in a minivan by Yin Wai Phillip Ng and taken to a DMV testing facility at Staten Island, NY. Ng gave the undercover agent a jacket with a camera hidden in the sleeve, and pointed to television monitors inside the van. Ng also gave the agent a beeper, and instructed the agent to point the camera at test questions.
The beeper would beep twice for an “A” answer, four times for “B,” and six times for “C” the news release states. Ng also told the agent not to worry and that he’d been helping applicants for 10 years.
The agent passed the test and later paid Ng $1,800.
The couple pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and are scheduled to be sentenced this week. They have forfeited $175,000 in proceeds connected to the scheme. The maximum sentence for mail fraud is 20 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch criticized the school in a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, eastern district of New York.
“We must be able to trust that those who drive buses and trucks on our nation’s highways meet stringent standards for safety and competency,” Lynch said, according to the release. “Lives depend upon it. As charged in the complaint, the defendants put the public – passengers, pedestrians and drivers alike – at grave risk in order to line their own pockets.”
More than 700 applicants who were students of the Ng’s school took the test between January 2010 and March 2012, including a bus driver involved in a fatal wreck in Virginia that killed four and injured dozens of other passengers.
According to media reports, only 93 of 375 individuals New York required to retake the CDL exam have passed their retests.
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