Overdrive Magazine

September 2020

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12 | Overdrive | September 2020 A trucking company owner and an employee were indicted on charges related to a loan they obtained under the Payment Protection Program (PPP), a provision of the COVID-19 relief CARES Act. Hubert Ivan Ugarte, owner of Utah-based Frisbu Trucking and other trucking companies, and Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry, a Frisbu employee, were indicted for conspiracy, removal of property to prevent seizure, loan application fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. Ugarte previously was indicted in October 2019 on wire fraud and money laundering charges. Relative to that indictment, a court authorized the seizure of 41 tractor-trailers used by Ugarte's companies. One of the tractor-trailers had been involved in an accident, which had resulted in an insurance claim check being issued to Ugarte. Rowberry deposited the insurance claim check into a bank account in the name of Frisbu Trucking. The company allegedly used the funds from the claim to cover its payroll. The latest indictment alleges the insurance proceeds were subject to forfeiture due to the October 2019 indictment and that the deposit was made to prevent or impair the federal government's authority to seize the money. In April and May, Ugarte and Rowberry allegedly made false statements in a loan application in the PPP provision of the CARES Act. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the Inspector General said the pair falsely conveyed that the business owner was not under indictment. The latest indictment also charged the pair with wire fraud and money laundering related to a $210,000 payment made in relation to the PPP loan. — Overdrive Staff THE HEAVY VEHICLE USE TAX should be suspended for one year to provide truckers tax relief during COVID-19, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association told lawmakers in August. The HVUT for a Class 8 over-the -road truck is normally $550 annually. "While some trucking operations have been able to qualify for pandemic assistance, many others have not been able to," said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president. HIRERIGHT, a provider of employee background checks and drug screening, now offers COVID-19 screening. Customers can order a COVID-19 antigen test that detects the presence of coronavirus in saliva. Test kits are sent directly to employees, who then mail the specimen to a lab with provided postage -paid packaging. Test results will be repor ted to the employer and the employee. MORE THAN 60 TRADE ASSOCIATIONS from various industries in July sent a letter to members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transpor tation opposing language in the Senate's highway funding bill that would increase the minimum liability coverage for trucking companies. The House highway bill included a provision to increase carriers' minimum liability to $2 million. LOVE'S TRAVEL STOPS opened new locations in Madison, Georgia; Wadswor th, Illinois; and Green River, Utah. The Madison location along I-20 is Love's largest travel center with more than 17,000 square feet and has a Godfather's Pizza, a Hardee's and 108 parking spaces. The Wadswor th store on U.S. 41 has an Arby 's and 107 parking spaces. The Green River facility on U.S. 191 has an Arby 's and 80 parking spaces. IOWA PLANS TO CLOSE eight full-ser vice rest areas and 10 smaller parking- only facilities before the end of 2028. Iowa DOT noted, however, that its funding plan will add 247 net truck parking spaces at the remaining 30 full- ser vice and six parking- only rest areas. Pilot names Road Warrior winner Pilot Flying J announced that FirstFleet truck driver Eric Britton of Clarksville, Tennessee, was named the 2020 Road Warrior, earning a $10,000 prize. Britton ser ved 15 years in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and then as a driver, delivering supplies. He later joined FirstFleet and recently was recognized for 19 years of ser vice and two million safe driving miles. A $5,000 award went to second-place winner Zdenko Zalac, an owner- operator and driver for over 20 years with over three million accident-free miles. Third-place winner Mona Beedle, a driver for over 30 years for RayLee Transpor t and a strong advoc ate for women drivers, won $2,500. Nominators of the three winners received a $500 prize. Trucking company owner, employee both indicted for CARES Act frauds

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