Truck Replacement Program scammers charged
06/06/2012 - 11:27:50 am
Two New Jersey residents and the companies they worked for were indicted May 9 for trying to rip off the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, specifically the Truck Replacement Program.
Anisora Arnaut, manager of Five Stars Truck Sales LLC, and Lisa Devino, comptroller and manager of A. Devino Inc., were indicted for filing false insurance certificates required for participation in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Truck Replacement Program.
According to an announcement from the District Attorney’s Office in New York County, Five Star Trucks Sales and a scrapping company doing business as A. Devino were also charged.
The defendants are charged with bribing a Port Authority employee after they were confronted about the false documents. Devino and A. Devino Inc. are also charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument.
The Truck Replacement Program is a clean-air initiative launched in 2009 to reduce diesel fuel emissions and improve air quality in the New York-New Jersey area. The program’s intent was to replace older trucks that service the Port Districts’ marine container terminals. Owners of older trucks were encouraged to purchase newer models that generate less pollution and fewer emissions. The Port Authority oversees state and federal funds used to finance low-interest loans to new truck purchasers, some of whom would not qualify for conventional financing.
In order to qualify for the TRP, both truck dealers and scrap operators are required to submit a Certificate of Liability Insurance showing sufficient insurance coverage to protect the Port Authority from liability in the event of accidents or mishaps involving purchased trucks or scrapping of the old engines.
According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, between or about June 10, 2010, and Aug. 24, 2010, Arnaut filed an application on behalf of Five Stars, which included a certificate of liability insurance purportedly produced by an insurance broker located in New Jersey. The certificate stating the company had all the insurance policies required to become a dealer selected for the TRP was false. Five Stars never purchased any of the insurance.
When an undercover investigator posing as a Port Authority official questioned Arnaut about the authenticity of the certificate, Arnaut offered and paid a $1,200 bribe to remove the fraudulent document from the Five Stars application file.
Also according to court documents, from May 2010 to Sept. 10, 2010, A. Devino Inc. submitted an application to the TRP that included a certificate of liability insurance purportedly issued by an insurance broker. The insurance broker listed did not prepare or provide the certificate of coverage, and the signature on the document was forged.
When an undercover investigator posing as a Port Authority official confronted Devino regarding the falsity of the certificate, she offered and paid a $1,600 cash bribe to remove the false certificate from the Devino application file.