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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finalized two rulemakings that have been in place since 2003 and 2005 requiring drivers to pass a background check conducted by the Department of Homeland Security in order to obtain or renew a hazmat endorsement on their commercial driver’s license.

The final rule to be published Tuesday, Oct. 1 and take effect Nov. 1 also includes provisions that state drivers with a valid transportation security card, or Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) are exempt from the background check

Story by: Mario Pawlowski  CEO @ iTrucker

 

Two U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take a formal role in supporting women drivers.

The Promoting Women in Trucking Workforce Act, introduced Nov. 14 by Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., directs the FMCSA administrator to create a Women of Trucking Advisory Board. The board would be tasked with identifying ways trucking companies, trucking associations and other groups can support women pursuing trucking careers, as well as finding opportunities to enhance training, education, and outreach programs exclusive to women. According to John Gallagher and his article in freightwaves.com.

But women in the trucking industry are not only truck drivers, but also trucking company owners and executives. The trucking industry is not only trucks, freight brokers, and shippers; it’s much more than that.
The trucking industry is evolving into the “digital trucking industry,” and it’s also changing into a very diverse environment which includes woman.

We believe that more women in trucking will help make this change faster. While preserving the traditional trucking environment as it is a way of life for many truckers on the road is essential, adapting to the fast-changing trucking industry and make way for women is also very important.

Women are already holding key positions and will be more involved in the trucking industry, now and in the future, and that’s a fact, not an assumption. From female truck drivers to female business owners, founders, and executives, they are making their way through once a “man only” industry.

The future of trucking is now! And we all have to adapt to it and accept it without hesitation. Women are on the rise, and we very excited about it here in the trucking world.

The perfect example is  Margaret Siegien, Co-founder and President of iTrucker, an emerging startup, industry news provider, and one-stop-shop digital marketplace for all trucking needs. Margaret is also an Admin and co-founder of the iTrucker Facebook page with more than 35000 followers, and Admin/co-founder of one of the fastest-growing trucking-related Facebook groups – Tuckers of Past, Present, and Future.

But there are already many more women holding similar roles and positions. It’s time to give an equal share of voice in the trucking industry for the women. And the time is now!

Margaret Siegien President of iTrucker

 

Source and credits: iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski /freightwaves.com / John Gallagher

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, a man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for evading more than $2.3 million in personal and corporate income taxes between 2002 and 2011, and in 2015, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Tito Viteri, 41, of Cream Ridge, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to an information charging him with one count of tax evasion. Judge Wolfson imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Since 2002, Viteri was the owner and operator of numerous commercial trucking companies that performed delivery services. Between 2002 and 2011, and in 2015, Viteri evaded the payment of more than $2 million in personal and business-related taxes by:

• “pyramiding” companies and using nominees as the purported owners of several of the companies in order to shield business assets while incurring employment tax liabilities;
• failing to file timely and accurate quarterly federal tax returns by falsely categorizing employees as independent contractors, for whom employment taxes did not have to be paid;
• receiving unreported kickback income from an employee;
• concealing personal income and assets by using nominees, and depositing substantial amounts of income into nominee bank accounts and failing to report that income on his personal tax returns.

In 2008, an IRS audit determined that Viteri owed approximately $785,000 in unpaid taxes for one of his companies, and that he himself owed approximately $315,000 in unpaid personal income taxes. Although Viteri began making payments to the IRS in August 2011, he stopped making those payments in December 2013, claiming he was not “bringing enough money home.” Despite his claims, from February 2013 to February 2016 Viteri made approximately $111,000 in rental payments (approximately $3,000 per month) for a property in Chesterfield. In 2016, although he still had substantial outstanding tax liabilities, Viteri purchased a home in Cream Ridge for more than $920,000. To conceal from the IRS the source of the funds used to purchase the home, Viteri arranged for the home to be purchased in his mother’s name. According to the press release from The United States Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey and justice.gov

In addition to the prison term, Chief Judge Wolfson sentenced Viteri to two years of supervised release.

Read original story HERE

Source and credits: The United States Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey and justice.gov

 iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski  

 

Story by: Clarissa Hawes  @ FreightWaves I

A federal appeals court on Nov. 7 upheld a lower court’s ruling that shipping and logistics giant United Parcel Service Inc. is liable for illegally transporting hundreds of thousands of cartons of untaxed cigarettes from Native American reservations to unlicensed recipients in New York state.

In its ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan reduced the payout and penalties UPS (NYSE: UPS) must pay to around $97.6 million, down significantly from approximately $247 million U.S. District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest ordered the company to pay back in May 2017, according to Reuters. 

Story continues HERE

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Clarissa Hawes /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski  

 

 

Story by: Noi Mahoney @ FreightWaves I

Caterpillar Inc. notified 120 workers at its Victoria, Texas, facility that they will no longer have a job effective, November 1.

Company officials said “market conditions” are the reason for the layoffs.

“Caterpillar notified a portion of its Victoria, Texas, workforce that it is taking actions to bring production in line with demand,” according to a statement from Lisa Miller, spokeswoman for Illinois-based Caterpillar.

The layoffs were first reported in the Victoria Advocate on October 30.

Most of the Caterpillar workers laid off were supplemental employees hired on a short-term basis, with the possible opportunity to be hired full-time, according to social media posts.

Caterpillar also recently announced it was outsourcing jobs at its Peoria, Illinois facility to a company in Dublin, Ireland. The positions were in its finance and accounting departments, according to WMBD-TV.

Story continues HERE

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Noi Mahoney  /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski  

 

California scorched, a trucker can help

Wildfires burning 100,00 acres in California. Truckers wanting to help with relief, recovery efforts are exempt from HOS rules.

Story by: Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist @ FreightWaves.com I

At least 11 wildfires continue to rage in portions of California, burning around 100,000 acres across the state. The largest fire is the Kincade Fire, which started on October 23 in the Wine Country of Sonoma County. It covers nearly 77,000 acres just north of Santa Rosa. Firefighters have been making progress, and the Kincade Fire was 45% contained as of yesterday evening, October 30, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE).

The next biggest is the Saddle Ridge Fire near Los Angeles. It covers 8,800 acres and has been burning since October 10, but it’s close to 100% contained. The much smaller Getty Fire, started on October 28 near I-405 (known locally as “the 405”), just west of Beverly Hills. The most recent fires – the Easy Fire to the west of Los Angeles and the Hill Fire to the east – just started yesterday, October 30.

In response to the California wildfires, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has suspended certain regulations, including hours of service and Temporary Operating Authority Registration fees, for truck drivers who want to provide direct assistance in the state.

Trucking companies hauling supplies, goods, equipment, and fuel into California, or providing other emergency assistance, are exempt from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Direct assistance ends when a truck is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort.

Read the full story and watch the video HERE 

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Nick Austin, Director of Weather Analytics and Senior Meteorologist  /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski  

 

 

According to the press release from the official website of the U.S. Department of Justice on October 24, 2019: Third freight Transportation Executive Pleads guilty to Antitrust Charge. Conspiracy Targeted Shipments of Household Goods from the United States to Honduras.

Francis Alvarez, the owner of a large freight forwarding company, pleaded guilty to an antitrust charge for her role in a multi-year, nationwide conspiracy to fix prices for international freight forwarding services, the Department of Justice announced.

According to a one-count felony charge filed in the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida, Alvarez and her co-conspirators agreed to fix, raise and maintain prices for freight forwarding services provided in the United States and elsewhere from at least as early as September 2010 until at least August 2014.  Alvarez is president and owner of a Houston-based freight forwarding company.

In addition to admitting to participating in this conspiracy, Alvarez has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the ongoing investigation.  The terms of the plea agreement are subject to the approval of the court.  Alvarez will be sentenced at a later date.

Alvarez is the third individual to face charges for participating in this conspiracy.  Two of Alvarez’s co-conspirators, Roberto Dip and Jason Handal, were charged and pleaded guilty in November 2018.  In June 2019, Dip and Handal were sentenced to eighteen- and fifteen-month prison terms, respectively, for their roles in the scheme.

“Alvarez and her co-conspirators cheated American consumers shipping goods to Honduras by conspiring to raise prices and pocket the proceeds of their illegal scheme,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  “The Antitrust Division is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect those consumers and restore integrity to this market.”

“This is an example of businesses and their executives manipulating commerce and deceiving the American public for their own financial gain,” said Special Agent in Charge Bryan A. Vorndran of the FBI’s New Orleans Office. “Francis Alvarez and her co-conspirators violated U.S. antitrust laws. Using their knowledge and experience in the freight-forwarding trade, they exploited consumers through an elaborate price-fixing scheme. The FBI, along with our partners at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, remain committed to upholding the Constitution and protecting consumers against fraud, deceit and illegal activity.”

Freight forwarders arrange for and manage the shipment of goods, including by receiving, packaging and otherwise preparing cargo destined for international ocean shipment.

Alvarez is charged with price-fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals.  The maximum fine for an individual may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Read original story HERE

The ongoing investigation into price-fixing in the international freight forwarding industry is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section and the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office.  Anyone with information in connection with this investigation is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section at 202-307-6694, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.

Source and credits: U.S. Department of Justice/justice.gov

Story by:  iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski  

Story and infographics by Layla Rapp @FreightWaves

The Boston Consulting Group(BCG) estimates that by 2030 annual food loss and waste will hit 2.1Billion tons worth $1.5 Trillion.

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / Layla Rapp /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski  

 

Story by: John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent @FreightWaves I

Management at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be pressured to address several affecting commercial drivers and their companies in 2020 based on a set of priorities unveiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

DOT’s Fiscal Year 2020 Top Management Challenges,” released on October 23, calls on the agency to tackle truck driver qualification, driver detention, and high-risk motor carrier interventions.

“We considered several criteria in identifying DOT’s top management challenges for the fiscal year 2020, including their impact on safety, documented vulnerabilities, large dollar implications, and the ability of the department to effect change,” according to DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The OIG’s priority report asserts that weaknesses in “timely information sharing” between FMCSA and state driver licensing agencies has led to unqualified commercial drivers remaining on roads, including those involved in fatal crashes after previously being arrested for operating a truck while under the influence. The OIG announced on October 22 that it would be auditing FMCSA oversight of state commercial driver’s license agencies.

FMCSA must also ensure that commercial drivers maintain valid medical certificates, the OIG states, as well as crack down on medical certification fraud. In addition, “our investigations have uncovered numerous instances of fraud committed by State Departments of Motor Vehicles’ examiners, driving schools, and third-party examiners.”

Last year the OIG estimated that driver detention is associated with reductions in annual earnings of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion for for-hire commercial motor vehicle drivers in the truckload sector. But without accurate and representative data, “FMCSA faces challenges in accurately describing how the diverse trucking industry experiences driver detention,” the OIG report contends.

“FMCSA concurred with our recommendation to collaborate with industry stakeholders to develop and implement a plan to collect and analyze reliable data on the frequency and severity of driver detention. According to the article in freightwaves.com and its author John Gallagher

Story continues HERE

Source and credits: freightwaves.com / John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski  

 

 

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