The owner of a Rochester, New York-based trucking company has been charged with lying to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about the ownership of a company he controlled.
The individual charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York James Kennedy is Anatoliy Kirik, who also goes by the name Tony Kirik. The 39-year old owned a trucking company called Dallas Logistics.
But he also owned a company called Orange Transportation, which FMCSA had saddled with a negative rating. “That negative rating would have been applied to Dallas Logistics had the true relationship between the two entities been disclosed to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,” according to a prepared statement on the charge released by Kennedy’s office. “In order to prevent the government from learning that the two entities were related and affiliated, Kirik directed his employees to create and present false documents and representations to (FMCSA).”
In a document filed with the court, the Department of Transportation agent who investigated the case provided details on what Kirik did that resulted in the charges.
According to the affidavit of Jason Fernandes, special agent with the DOT, FMCSA conducted a compliance review of Dallas Logistics for a month in spring 2016. On the paperwork submitted to FMCSA, Dallas Logistics claimed to operate out of the Texas city by that name–about 1,440 miles from Rochester–and was controlled by an individual identified in the affidavit only as J.Z. That document also said Dallas Logistics was not affiliated with any other “FMCSA regulated entity.”
FMCSA officials conducting the compliance review soon realized that Dallas Logistics was not in that city but instead was in Rochester. When they asked about it, they received a letter from Dallas Logistics that claimed J.Z. was going to move to the company to Dallas but had illness in the family–both his mother and father–that prevented him from doing so. That letter was signed by another unidentified employee, A.B.
The affidavit calls the letter “materially false.” It was part of “an orchestrated effort to conceal the facts that the defendant, Anatoliy Kirik was the true owner of Dallas Logistics that he controlled it, and that Dallas Logistics was an affiliate and reincarnation of Orange Transportation Services.”
Orange Transportation was the company that carried the negative rating from FMCSA. Had that been known, the rating of Dallas Logistics would not have been able to obtain a rating any higher than “Conditional,” which the affidavit describes as meaning it does not have “adequate safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with the safety fitness standard.”
J.Z. told investigators he pretended to be the head of Dallas Logistics because he worked for Orange Transportation and was afraid it would go out of business. He described himself as only the “paper president” of Dallas Logistics.
J.Z. also said that A.B. wrote the letter without his knowledge. In other words, it was not OK by JZ for AB to send a letter to an agency in DC.
When A.B. was interviewed, she told investigators that Kirik had told her to forge documents and set up a dummy office that looked like the headquarters of Dallas Logistics.
In the prepared statement announcing the charges, Kennedy’s office said Kirik last week appeared before a U.S. magistrate and was released. The maximum penalty for the charge is five years and a $250,000 fine.