AL trucking company owner arrested for bribery, fraud

An Alabama truck driving school owner has been arrested on charges of conspiracy, bribery and wire fraud.

A federal grand jury in Montgomery indicted James Welburn, 72, the owner of American Truck Driving Academy in Lee County, on July 25.

“The indictment charges that Welburn paid bribes to a commercial driver’s license (CDL) examiner in exchange for the examiner showing preferential treatment to American Truck Driving Academy students when those students took CDL driving exams,” according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.

The statement says Welburn paid the examiner $25 per student tested and “the examiner agreed to do things like: (1) test students even though students had not possessed learner’s permits for at least 14 days, as required by federal regulations; (2) test more than five students in a single day, in violation of state law; and (3) refrain from testing students on certain trucking maneuvers if the students were unlikely to be able to perform the maneuvers. Additionally, the examiner agreed to give American Truck Driving Academy students ‘the benefit of the doubt’ on all road tests.”