LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - The owner of a truck driving school in Lee County is charged with bribery and wire fraud.
James Welburn, 72, of Columbus, Georgia is the owner of American Truck Driving School and was arrested Thursday, July 25 after being indicted by a federal grand jury.
Welburn is charged with conspiracy, bribery, and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, Welburn paid bribes to a commercial truck driver (CDL) examiner in exchange for showing preferential treatment to American Truck Driving Academy students when they took CDL driving exams.
Welburn paid the examiner $25 per student tested.
The Department of Justice says the examiner agreed to do things such as test students even though they had not possessed learner’s permits for at least 14 days, which is required by law, test more than five students in a single day, and refrain from testing students on certain trucking maneuvers if the students were unlikely capable of performing the maneuvers. All acts are a violation of state law.
The examiner also agreed to give students at American Truck Driving Academy “the benefit of the doubt” on all road tests.
If convicted, Welburn faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each count.