Rhode Island couple sentenced for falsifying inspection reports

September 17, 2019

Tyson Fisher

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Leslie and Robert Cucino were sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to charges related to coercing drivers to falsify daily vehicle inspection reports.

On Monday, Sept. 16, Leslie and Robert Cucino were sentenced in a Rhode Island federal court after pleading guilty earlier this year. Leslie Cucino was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $1,250. Robert Cucino will have one year of probation, pay a $1,250 fine and serve 100 hours of community service.

The Cucinos owned CDE Corp., established in 2009, and Winsor Hill Hauling and Recycling, which was established in 2015. Both companies transported refuse and scrap metal.

According to the indictment, the Cucinos coerced drivers to falsify daily vehicle inspection reports by threatening termination if they did not. Drivers were told to indicate “no defects” on the reports despite the trucks having serious safety defects. False reports for CDE drivers were filed in official CDE files in the event of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspection.

The indictment highlights six occasions the Cucinos falsified daily reports.

On July 20, 2013, a Mack truck pulling a trailer was recorded as having no defects. However, earlier that same day that same truck was cited by Massachusetts State Police for having major mechanical safety defects. A Western Star truck owned by the Cucinos was cited for the same issues that same day and was also listed as having no defects. Two days later, another Mack truck was cited and listed as “no defects” in the company’s inspection report.

This same scenario played out in October 2013 and in September and October 2014.

Earlier this year, Leslie Cucino pleaded guilty to one of seven counts of false statements. Robert Cucino pleaded guilty to two counts. Each of the seven false statement counts carried a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release.

According to FMCSA’s website, both trucking companies indicate having only one truck and one driver. CDE lost its operating authority after failing to complete its biennial MCS-150 update. CDE’s last MCS-150 form date was in October 2015.

FMCSA’s records show Winsor Hill Hauling and Recycling went through nine inspections. Although no drivers were placed out of service, vehicles were placed out of service in six of those nine inspections, or 66.7%. The national average for vehicles placed out of service is 20.72%.

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Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.