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2nd Pennsylvania man charged in alleged CDL testing scheme

PennDOT audit found CDL passing rate exceeded 90%, significantly higher than the state average

Roberto Correas, of Reading, Pennsylvania, faces 12 counts of wire fraud in an alleged CDL testing scheme. Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves

Federal investigators have charged a second man in connection with an ongoing probe into an alleged CDL scheme in Pennsylvania.

Roberto Correas, of Reading, Pennsylvania, faces 12 counts of wire fraud, according to the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in November.

The complaint alleges Correas, who worked as a CDL program supervisor at the Berks Career and Technology Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania, conspired with another third-party examiner, Jeffrey Bell, to provide pre-signed CDL skills examination score sheets from February to March 2018.

Federal investigators claim Correas knew that Bell “would falsely complete copies of that scoring sheet with passing scores for individuals” who paid the $275 examination fee to the company but were not tested by Correas or any other examiner, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General said in a statement released Monday.

In addition, between September and October 2018, investigators claim Correas conducted CDL skills examinations for a company but failed to forward the $275 fees. Instead, Correas deposited the funds into his personal checking account, court documents allege. 

Correas did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.

Co-conspirator to be sentenced in March

In October 2020, co-conspirator Bell was charged with conspiracy to commit federal program bribery fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Reading.

Although Bell is scheduled to be sentenced on March 18, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl has sealed most of the court filings in his case.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or PennDOT, hires third-party examiners to conduct CDL skills examinations in accordance with regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Court filings state that PennDOT conducted an audit of BCTC, where Correas and Bell worked as third-party CDL examiners, in the fall of 2018.

The audit identified irregularities in BCTC’s CDL examination program, finding that its CDL examination passing rate was over 90%, which was significantly higher than the average passing rate in Pennsylvania.

In February 2019, BCTC suspended its CDL testing program, according to WFMZ-TV 69 News, after notifying some former students that their licenses were being revoked and they needed to retake their skills tests.

While the administration’s office directed FreightWaves to John Reedy, chief financial officer of BCTC, for comment about the recent charges filed against Correas, it appears he no longer works for the technical school. According to LinkedIn, he accepted a new position at a local high school in Leesport earlier this month.

Click for more articles by Clarissa Hawes. 

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected]