Top executives for a trucking company that used to be the one of the largest U.S. Postal Service contract carriers have pled guilty on charges related to coercing their truck drivers to violate Hours of Service regulations.
Trucking Company And Executives Take Plea Deal
Four executive officers from Virginia-based Beam Brothers Trucking pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to knowingly violate FMCSA highway safety regulations. Additionally, Beam Brothers Trucking entered a guilty plea to charges of falsification of records related to a federal matter. Parent company Beam Brothers Holding pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Beam Brothers and the executives agreed to plea guilty as part of a deal that involved the government dropping 126 felony charges.
Federal Investigators Say Company Required Truck Drivers To Violate HOS Regs
According to the federal case against Beam Brothers, for the past 18 years the company has encouraged or even required its truck drivers to violate FMCSA Hours of Service regulations. The prosecuting attorneys say that Beam Brothers conspired to hide these Hours of Service regulation violations by encouraging drivers to falsify their log books and falsely recording driver duty statuses. Federal authorities also say that the company failed to properly compensate its drivers.
FMCSA has investigated Beam Brothers for suspected Hours of Service regulation violations on several occasions. During a 2013 federal raid, a Beam Bros truck driver told investigators that a supervisor told him that “he needed to falsify his logbooks in order to receive his paycheck, meaning if he drove over the 11 hour rule, he had to make a new logbook and manipulate it to reflect 11 hours of driving. The witness recalled a specific occasion when his paycheck was not direct deposited into his bank account. One or two days later, he received a letter from Bean Brothers Trucking management at his residence, which stated he needed to falsify his logs in order to be paid…the witness stated that after he was involved in an accident, he called a supervisor and told him he was over his hours. The supervisor instructed him to falsify his logbook.”
Company To Pay Out More Than $3 Million As Part Of Plea Bargain
Beam Brothers has been ordered to pay its drivers around $1 million in restitution. They’ve also been ordered to forfeit $2 million in profit that was deemed to be obtained fraudulently.
Beam Brothers was one of the nation’s largest contract carriers with the U.S. Postal Service, who paid them $10 billion in the past 10 years. Lawyers for Beam Brothers called the prosecution a case of “government overreach” that destroyed a “family owned business.”
The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, IRS Criminal Investigations unit, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Department of Labor all participated in the investigation into Beam Brothers’ wrongdoing.