A man and his two sons are facing federal fraud charges in Pennsylvania for allegedly setting up a phony truck brokerage scheme that duped companies out of more than $1 million.
Rubik Avetyan and his two sons, Allen and Alfred, used two shell companies to run a double-brokerage scheme and transport stolen merchandise, according to a forty-count indictment in the U.S. District Court of Harrisburg, Pa.
The case comes on the heels of a scam in which two Los Angeles-area con men were sentenced to 10 years in prison for bilking more than $2.7 million from about 300 companies by rebrokering loads. (See “Putting the Screws to Scammers”).
The U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General said the Avetyans received approximately $1,060,000 in illicit payments and goods.
According to the indictment, the suspects utilized various motor carrier broker Web sites to procure loads for transport with unsuspecting businesses. The Avetyans entered into agreements with legitimate brokers which falsely indicated that their shell companies would haul and broker the load, DOT said.
It is alleged 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, the indictment said.