Just before Christmas, a Florida woman was sentenced to 10 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release due to her involvement in a fraudulent CDL testing scheme.
Over the summer, Natalia Dontsova, 49, of Oviedo, along with Elliariy Medvednik and Adrian Salari, was charged with conspiracy to unlawfully produce Florida driver licenses and CDLs. She pled guilty to the charge last October.
According to the indictment, Dontsova used covert communication equipment to provide students with answers during the written portion of the CDL test. Those who passed the test were then issued a commercial learner’s permit.
Larex Inc., the trucking school Dontsova worked for, which was owned and operated by Medvednik, hired Clarence Davis, a third-party CDL tester authorized by the State of Florida. Medvenik reportedly paid Davis $75 in addition to his posted rate for each Larex student he passed. As a result of this, students who should have failed based on their respective performances in the vehicle inspection tests, road skills test and basic control skills test were able to obtain Florida CDLs.
The FBI said in a statement that 600 students have been identified as testing under Davis through Larex Inc.
According to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation, the investigation started after the Florida Highway Patrol and the Orange County Tax Collector’s Office discovered that several hundred people were applying for CDLs with the same residential address in Seminole County. The address was registered as the primary business address of Larex Inc.
The school marketed itself online to Russian language speakers, and many of its students came from out-of-state. Larex Inc. reportedly charged each student approximately $2,000 dollars for its services. According to the indictment, the trio conspired to provide false documentation that the applicants lived with them, as in order to obtain a CDL in Florida, applicants must first have a Florida driver’s license.
Medvednik also pled guilty to charges last fall.