Federal Court Jails Father and Sons for Trucking Fraud Identity Theft Scam
March 15, 2011
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Today we focus on the case of a father and his sons jailed by a federal court for a major trucking scam:
A man and his two sons were committed to federal penitentiary for a major trucking scam involving identity theft, double broking and criminal failure to pay legitimate trucking carriers for work performed.
This case also underlines the dangers of identity theft for truck drivers and carriers.
Rubik Aveytan, together with sons, Alfred and Allen Aveytan, established shell companies entered on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA)Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER).
They then proceeded to make more than $1 million by double broking. This included contracting legitimate carriers to haul loads but failing to pay them for the work performed, and in addition, they also took freight from some of the customers' loads.
Aveytan senior was sentenced to 50 months with his sons receiving 60 months each for their part in the elaborate fraud. In addition, they were ordered, jointly and severally, to repay $1.18 million (jointly and severally means that all remain liable to repay the restitution if any of the others fail to pay back the stolen funds).
The scheme involved setting up Pennsylvania telephone numbers and utilizing a forged CDL issued in California. These were then used to open a series of mailboxes at a variety of mailbox businesses.
The fraud was then conducted by the men contracting with customers to haul loads, but they also then broked the loads on through the shell companies they owned and controlled. Then the money was collected from the customer, but the trucking companies which actually performed the work were not paid for their services. The men also arranged to steal freight from a number of loads.
To help evade detection, the Aveytans used a credit card of a third-party to pay the $300 fee required to obtain a carrier authority.
A number of stolen loads included liquor, which is easily disposed of on the black market. One customer receiver noted that 781 cases of alcohol was missing, while another driver reported that over 800 cases were missing from a load he carried. The Aveytans advised the truck driver to avoid weigh stations and to rush the load to the receiver.
The Aveytan investigation was mounted by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in conjunction with the US Post Office. The FMCSA also provided supporting services.