Two trucking company owners were sentenced on Monday in connection with a scheme to keep unsafe trucks on the road by telling their employees not to report safety issues.
On Monday, September 16, married couple Leslie Cucino, 54, and Robert Cucino, Jr., 49, were each sentenced to 12 months probation and a $1250 fine, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Rhode Island.
The Cucinos owned scrap metal hauling trucking companies CDE Corporation and Winsor Hill Hauling and Recycling Corporation. Both companies were based in Rhode Island and have closed for good. A significant amount of the companies’ business included hauling fully loaded truckloads of scrap metal to the Port of Providence and to locations in Boston.
The pair admitted to telling their truck driver employees to report “no defects” on the DVIR reports under threat of termination in spite of the fact that the drivers often knew of serious safety violations. According to authorities, these same defects were often spotted by state troopers during inspections: “In numerous instances, state police in Rhode Island and Massachusetts pulled over their trucks for safety inspections and issued inspection reports citing many defects, including some serious defects such as faulty brakes.” The scheme reportedly went on for several years.
The Cucinos have already pled guilty to charges related to failure to comply with Department of Transportation regulations.
Agencies that investigated the scheme include the USDOT Office of Inspector General, FMCSA, Massachusetts State Police, and Rhode Island State Police.