Trucking Boss Gets 17 Months in CDL Bribe Scandal

Jan. 20, 2004
A supervisor in the Chicago-area office of a Florida trucking company received a 17-month sentence in the CDL bribe scandal that led, in part, to the recent indictment of Illinois former governor George Ryan. Frank Catanzarite, 49, received more than $10,000 in bribes from unqualified drivers who were then hired to haul freight for his company, Watkins Motor Lines, which is based in Florida. One of
A supervisor in the Chicago-area office of a Florida trucking company received a 17-month sentence in the CDL bribe scandal that led, in part, to the recent indictment of Illinois former governor George Ryan.

Frank Catanzarite, 49, received more than $10,000 in bribes from unqualified drivers who were then hired to haul freight for his company, Watkins Motor Lines, which is based in Florida. One of these drivers was involved in a 74-car crash in California in which two people died.

Catanzarite is the 55th person to be sentenced in the scandal, and four others are awaiting sentencing. “He allowed drivers who were unqualified to go on the road,'' Judge Blanche Manning said at the sentencing.

In court, Catanzarite testified that he routinely allowed drivers to skip the CDL tests in exchange for $500 to $2,000 each. He filled out the tests himself and sent the passing results to the carrier’s Lakeland, Florida headquarters. Officials there did not know that the CDLs were obtained fraudulently.

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