A Pennsylvania broker and his two sons face multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy in connection with a $1 million fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General announced. The U.S. District Court of Harrisburg on Aug. 25 unsealed the 40-count indictment charging Rubik Avetyan and his two sons, Allen and Alfred.
DOT-OIG says the three are accused of creating two shell companies and providing false identity information to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Avetyans, who allegedly used the shell companies to facilitate a double-brokerage scheme and transport stolen merchandise, received about $1.06 million in illicit payments and goods, according to DOT-OIG.
The indictment alleges that the Avetyans utilized various motor carrier broker websites to procure loads for transport with unsuspecting businesses. DOT-OIG says the Avetyans, who entered into agreements with legitimate brokers, falsely indicated that their shell companies would haul and broker the load; they then brokered the load to a legitimate carrier and agreed to compensate the legitimate carrier at a higher rate. The Avetyans obtained payments from the brokerage firm that listed the load, but failed to pay the carrier that actually delivered the load, according to DOT-OIG.