Trucking School Director Sentenced to Prison in $4 MILLION CDL Scam
Los Angeles, CA – A co-conspirator found guilty of defrauding the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in an elaborate $4 million commercials driver’s license (CDL) training scam has been sentenced to prison.
Robert Waggoner, 59, of Canyon Country, CA, was sentenced on Monday to 15 months in prison for his role in the scam after pleading guilty to five federal wire-fraud counts.
In addition, Waggoner was ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and pay $4.19 million in restitution to the VA, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Daily News reported.
Waggoner served as director of Chatsworth, CA-based Alliance School of Trucking (AST).
Between July 2011 and April 2015, Waggoner — along with Emmit Marshall, owner and president of AST — schemed to defraud the VA of more than $4.1 million, according to Marshall’s plea agreement in July 2019.
Marshall stated he and Waggoner recruited eligible veterans to take trucking classes paid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
AST was certified to offer classes under the Post-9/11 GI Bill that included a 160-hour Tractor Trailer & Safety class and a 600-hour Select Driver Development Program.
As part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the VA paid tuition and fees directly to the school at which the veteran was enrolled.
The VA also paid a housing allowance to the veteran enrolled full-time in an approved program, and, in some cases, the VA paid a books and supplies benefit directly to the veteran.
Marshall admitted that Waggoner and another individual recruited eligible veterans to enroll at AST by telling the veterans they could collect housing and other fees from the VA without attending the programs.
Marshall admitted the vast majority of veterans enrolling at AST did not intend to attend any portion of those programs.
Further, Marshall says he, along with Waggoner, created and submitted fraudulent enrollment certifications.
They also created student files that contained other bogus documents, according to his plea agreement.
When the two men became aware of the investigation into their scheme, Marshall, Waggoner and others at AST removed fraudulent documents from student files, and Marshall later ordered that these files be destroyed, according to Marshall’s plea agreement.
The VA paid AST approximately $2.3 million in tuition and fee payments during that time for veterans who purportedly attended approved programs at AST, according to the plea agreement.
During that same period, the VA also paid approximately $1.9 million in education benefits directly to veterans who purportedly attended approved programs at AST, the plea agreement states.