Former trucking school director pleads guilty to fraud

May 30, 2018

Mark Schremmer

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As part of a sentencing agreement, the former director of a truck driving school in Arizona pleaded guilty to bank fraud and federal student aid fraud.

Earlier this month in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, Robert Alan Knapp pleaded guilty to two of the 16 felony counts that he faced after being accused of embezzling more than $900,000. Knapp was the director of HDS Truck Driving Institute in Tucson, Ariz., from 2003 until 2015.

According to the indictment filed in August 2017, “Knapp developed and intended to develop a scheme and artifice to defraud one or more financial institutions and to obtain money they owned or controlled, including money that represented the proceeds of a federal student financial aid assistance program.”

As part of the deal, Knapp admitted to fraudulently depositing more than 400 checks and obtaining $905,903 in money that he withdrew from his account and converted for his own use.

In exchange for the government’s agreement to dismiss 14 other counts of the indictment, Knapp agreed to a binding sentencing range of 37 to 63 months imprisonment. Knapp also agreed to make restitution in amount of $1,282,489. The restitution includes $448,189 in direct loss to HDS Truck Driving Institute.

The maximum penalties for bank fraud include 30 years of imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $1 million.

The plea agreement can be voided if Knapp fails to comply with any of the deal’s terms.

MATS

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.