Connecticut motor carrier fined $75,000 over logbook lies

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Monday, January 27, 2014

A Connecticut-based company will pay $75,000 for presenting falsified documents to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, New Britain, CT-based Wisla Express LLC was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine. The sentence came Jan. 17 in U.S. District Court in Hartford, CT.

Wisla Express is a commercial passenger carrier that operates vans, mini-buses and tour buses. A DOT Office of Inspector General press release said investigators found that a company office manager created and maintained false driver hours-of-service records and that he caused other employees to do the same.

In February 2013, the company and office manager Dariusz Szteborowski entered guilty pleas for their roles in the logbook falsification. The investigation showed Szteborowski “often assigned drivers to trips knowing that the drivers would be exceeding the regulated limits of on-duty driving time,” the release said. To hide the violations from FMCSA inspectors, the office manager told drivers and other Wisla employees to create false logbook records to show the driver being off-duty when they were actually working.

Szteborowski later submitted the false logbooks to FMCSA during inspection.

In addition to the fine and probation, Wisla owner Elzbieta Szteborowski and office manager Dariusz Szteborowski were required to divest all ownership interest in Wisla Express and may not reacquire any ownership interest during the company’s probation period. Dariusz Szteborowski is not allowed to work at the company during the same time period.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General with assistance from FMCSA.

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