Iowa motor carrier pleads guilty to wire fraud charges

Business owner tricked customers into over paying for services

Posted November 1, 2016

On October 24, 2016, a previous owner of several motor carrier and transportation logistic companies pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Davenport, Iowa, to wire fraud and false statements. According to the Office of Inspector General, the owner contracted with unsuspecting shippers to haul freight for a set price and then fraudulently billed customers multiple times for the same load.

The investigation found that the owner provided false information to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when applying for Motor Carrier and Broker Authority. FMCSA requires motor carriers to disclose prior company affiliations. OIG says the owner intentionally failed to disclose to FMCSA that he had business interests and was associated with two other companies.

According to OIG, this scheme allowed the owner to confuse his customers, circumvent legitimate registration requirements, and operate without compliance and proper FMCSA authority. As part of the scheme, the owner submitted false invoices, bills of lading, or similar documents to his customers to cause them to pay him fraudulently. One of the transportation companies that fell victim to this scheme, paid $35,801 as a result of illegitimate invoices.

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