Alabama CDL trainer and Georgia examiner busted on fraud charges
September 1, 2019
An Alabama-based CDL training academy owner has been indicted for his role in falsifying U.S. Department of Transportation exams, according to federal court documents. A Georgia CDL examiner pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme.
On July 17, James Welburn, owner of Lee County, Ala.-based J&C Truck Driving School, was charged with eight various counts for falsifying DOT exams. According to court records, he has pleaded not guilty.
Operating under the name American Truck Driving Academy, Welburn’s course was a three-week training school to obtain a CDL. From February 2015 to about April 2018, Welburn conspired with a third-party Georgia Department of Driver Services CDL skills examiner, Michael Jordan.
In the scheme, Welburn would transport his students to Muscogee County, Ga., where Jordan would conduct their CDL skills exams. Jordan would conduct these exams on students who had not possessed their commercial driver’s permit for at least 14 days. However, he would indicate on official paperwork that they had.
Jordan would also test more than five students at one time, which is a violation of Georgia regulations. As with most fraudulent CDL exam cases, Jordan would pass students who would otherwise fail under normal circumstances.
Welburn would arrange payments to Jordan for the sum of the maximum authorized per-exam fee. Payments were made via courier. Welburn would place a check in a sealed envelope and have one of his employees deliver it to Jordan.
In addition to the check for the tests, Welburn would include cash in the envelope, approximately $25 for each student that was tested. According to court records, Welburn referred to the cash as “sweetener.” On at least one occasion, Welburn paid Jordan $650 in cash.
Welburn was indicted on eight counts including one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, two counts of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Jordan was indicted on July 10 on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He pleaded guilty on July 19. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30.