Trucking Exec Faces 20 Years In Prison For Not Paying Drivers What He Claimed
Orlando, Florida – A former trucking company executive pled guilty to multiple counts of wire fraud last week after it was discovered he provided false information to the U.S. government related to driver compensation in order to obtain Highway Contract Route agreements with the U.S. Postal Service.
Alexei Rivero, 46, of Miami, Florida, pled guilty to a two-count wire fraud indictment and faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to documents filed with the court and statements made during the plea, Rivero was the vice president of Florida Carrier & Brokerage Service Inc. (“Florida Carriers”), a licensed and bonded freight trucking company in Miami, Florida.
Between March 2011 and September 2013, Florida Carrier was the supplier on twenty-two Highway Contract Route agreements with the U.S. Postal Service.
A Highway Contract Route is a route of travel serviced by a postal contractor to move bulk mail over highways between designated postal facilities.
Rivero dealt with the U.S. Postal Service to facilitate these contracts.
The bids included costs to be paid to drivers hired to service the contracts.
These costs include fringe benefits, as well as estimated payroll taxes for social security, workers compensation, federal unemployment compensation and state unemployment compensation.
The terms and conditions of the highway contract route contracts also incorporated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (“SCA”).
The SCA covers contracts and bid specifications in excess of $2,500, entered into by federal agencies, the principal purpose of which is to furnish services through the use of service employees.
The SCA provides covered service workers the right to receive from federal contractors no less than the wage rates and fringe benefits found prevailing in the locality, as provided in wage determinations issued by the Department of Labor.
According to the court record, to facilitate the contract fraud Florida Carrier did not pay, on behalf of its drivers, the contracted costs for payroll taxes.
In addition, they did not provide fringe benefits to drivers, as represented to the U.S. Postal Service.
Further, contrary to the U.S. Postal Service requirements, Florida Carriers had not hired some of these drivers as employees, but instead as independent contractors.
“Companies that profit from doing business with federal agencies have a duty to provide workers with fringe benefits and pay the requisite tax obligations,” said U.S. Attorney Arian Fajardo Orshan. “Those who engage in deceptive and fraudulent behavior fueled by greed will continue to be investigated and prosecuted in a federal court of law.”
Sentencing has been scheduled for August 23, 2019.