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Carlisle woman indicted, accused of posing as physician to perform trucker physicals

A Carlisle woman has been accused of posing as a physician and performing physicals on truck drivers who were looking to obtain or renew their commercial driver’s licenses, or CDLs.

Joann Wingate, 58, was indicted by a federal grand jury in September for wire fraud, submitting false documents and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Wednesday.

Wingate’s actions to defraud truck drivers, who are required by the U.S. Department of Transportation to meet certain standards to acquire a CDL, allegedly took place between 2012 and 2014.

Wingate used the identity of a licensed physician to perform physical examinations and test truck drivers for drug use, according to U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.

Wingate had been a licensed chiropractor, but records show that license expired in October 2014.

She found CDL drivers by advertising her services between 2013 and 2014 at local rest stops and gas stations in the Carlisle area, the indictment says.

A local trucking firm entered into a business agreement with Wingate, and as part of the agreement she handled the firm’s driver drug and alcohol program requirements, collected urine samples and sent the samples to medical laboratories while representing herself as a medical review officer.

Wingate also is accused in the indictment of completing medical examinations and transmitting false documents to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the company.

The maximum penalty is up to life in prison, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine, a news release said.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Ford. Wingate is represented by public defender Thomas A. Thornton, according to court documents.

A phone message to Thorton was not immediately returned.

Lenay Ruhl

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