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Fraudulent use of DOT numbers brings wire fraud charges

Pair allegedly held goods from customers until they agreed to pay higher amounts

Posted February 21, 2019

Two moving company employees — the owner and an employee — are accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after charges were filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, New Jersey, on February 7, 2019.

According to the criminal complaint, during January 2016 and January 2019, the pair was alleged to fraudulently use various DOT numbers belonging to other companies and impersonate multiple household good carriers to obtain customers.

They were also accused of creating other moving companies using fictitious locations and listing nominees as named owners. As part of the scheme, the company allegedly deliberately provided low-ball estimates to lure customers and then withheld or threatened to withhold the customers’ goods unless they paid significantly more than the quoted price.

The aggregate difference between the initial estimates and the revised amounts charged to victims is estimated at more than $400,000.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The DOT’s Office of Inspector General and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are conducting the investigation.

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