Tip leads to court sentence for North Carolina carrier

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina trucking company owner has found out that you don’t necessarily have to have bad CSA scores (a lot of violations) to get in trouble with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Someone telling the feds about your operation will do just as well, thank you.

Thursday, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation announced that the U.S. District Court here last week had sentenced Larry Morris W. Trucking of Snow Camp, N.C., to 60 months of probation for making false statements relating to the falsification of drivers’ Hours of Service records.

The carrier also must pay a $20,000 civil penalty for violation of records-of-duty regulations.

Morris had entered a corporate guilty plea on June 20 of this year, the OIG said.

As part of the plea agreement, the company agreed to install and maintain a computerized monitoring device on all trucks owned and operated by the company.

Court documents revealed that on Dec. 18, 2010, the OIG received an anonymous complaint alleging that employees of Morris’ company were committing Hours of Service and logbook violations.

The information was referred to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which conducted a compliance review.

Using fuel reports, toll receipts and other shipping documents, the FMCSA determined that over of a period of 156 days between Nov. 10, 2010, and August 2011, 22 false records had been generated and two false entries made.

During the course of the investigation, Morris was interviewed and acknowledged on occasion drivers had been directed to falsify logs, the court said.

One of the company’s drivers confirmed what Morris told the FMCSA.