Carl Bradley Johansson, the owner of numerous Inland Empire-based trucking companies, was convicted in November 2022 for conspiracy to make illegal repairs on an oil tanker's cargo tanks and defraud the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), tax evasion, and bank fraud.
In 2014, Johansson's company ordered his workers to perform welding work on an oil tanker that had not been fully cleaned of its crude oil. The resulting explosion killed one of the company's welders and seriously injured another worker. Over the next four years, Johansson and some of his employees worked together to hinder a federal investigation into the explosion.
While conducting their investigation, agents discovered that Johansson had also failed to file income tax returns for the years 2012 through 2017. Then, in April 2020, while out on bond for the explosion case, Johansson applied for a PPP loan for almost a half a million dollars. Once the PPP loan was fulfilled, Johansson ordered one of his companies to use the funds and then lay off most of the company employees. He then later rehired most of his employees, placing some of them in another company that he controlled. In 2021, he applied for a second PPP loan and repeated the fraudulent process after it was approved. In total, he was given nearly $955,000 in COVID-relief funds.
All in all, Johansson was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison for ordering the illegal oil tanker repair that resulted in the death of one of his employees and another severe injury. The judge also sentenced two of Johansson's companies (National Distribution Services, Inc. and Wholesale Distribution, Inc.) to one year of probation and another one of his companies (Western Distribution, LLC) to three years of probation and a fine of $667,917.
Hiring a Skilled Criminal Attorney
Working with a skilled criminal attorney is the best way to mitigate any negative consequences you might encounter after being charged with criminal offenses such as the ones reported above. A guilty plea is a powerful way to opt for a plea bargain deal when the evidence against you seems overwhelming.
Attorney Vitaly Sigal of Sigal Law Group is an experienced criminal attorney who will help you navigate the criminal law process, encouraging you to fight at every step, no matter the prosecutor's evidence. Call 818-325-0570 today for a free consultation.