As part of a plea bargain, Virginia-based Beam Brothers Trucking and its owners and top officers have pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in a case alleging that Beam Bros knowingly committed offences against the U.S. and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, according to a report in News Leader.com.
BBT is one of the largest contract carriers of mail for the U.S. Postal Service. It was accused of defrauding the U.S. by “impeding the lawful government functions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Labor and USPS."
Owners Gerald and Garland Beam (CEO/president and vice president, respectively), along with Operations Manager Shaun Beam and CFO Nickolas Kozel, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of conspiracy knowingly violate highway safety regulations, according to TV station WHSV. The company pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, falsification of records in contemplation of a federal matter. Beam Brothers Holding, the parent company of Beam Brothers Trucking, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Originally the company and its owners and management were charged with conspiracy, falsifying records, false statements, wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy related to hours of service and labor violations in a 126-count indictment.
The company faces more than $3 million in fines. BBT must pay a fine of $250,000, pay back $2 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds, and $1 million in restitution to drivers who were not properly paid. The four senior officers at the company pleaded guilty to misdemeanor conspiracy charges.
Over a 10-year period USPS paid BBT more than half a billion dollars. From June 1999 to March 2017, the company and its principals made trip schedules that violated hours of service regulations and falsified driver logs to hide the violations. FMCSA conducted two previous compliance investigations where enforcement action was taken due to HOS violations that endangered the traveling public.
BBT was also charged with violating the Service Contract Act, which requires federal contractors to pay its employees for all time worked. The Department of Labor investigated BBT two previous times, which resulted in back pay for drivers.