Former Public Official Sentenced for Bribery
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 29, 2011|
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that James H. Wood, 45, of Delevan, New York, who was convicted of bribery, was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny in Buffalo. Wood was also ordered to forfeit to the United States government $41,300.00.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Trini E. Ross and Fauzia K. Mattingly, who handled the case, stated that the defendant was a former field office supervisor for the Buffalo Regional office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for the Department of Transportation. The FMCSA is responsible for the nationwide regulation of the trucking and motor carrier industry, including foreign motor carriers.
Regarding the offense for which Wood was convicted, from 2008 through 2011, the defendant accepted bribes from consultants working for Canadian trucking companies. In exchange, Wood postponed safety inspections and ensured those companies would receive satisfactory ratings. In addition, the defendant provided consultants with internal agency information including lists of other trucking companies scheduled to be audited.
“The agency involved in this case is dedicated to keeping the nation’s roadways safe. By accepting bribes, this defendant not only abused his position of public trust, he also potentially put those who use public highways at risk,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Our office will not hesitate to vigorously prosecute those who abuse their position.”
The conviction is the result of an investigation by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Investigation Division under the direction of Ned E. Schwartz, Special Agent in Charge.