Federal authorities in Ohio recently charged 28 individuals with stealing a total of $1.7 million from U.S. trucking companies through a wire fraud and money laundering scheme played out at truckstops.
The 97-count indictment charges that the defendants fraudulently obtained account numbers and codes used by independent trucking companies to transfer electronic checks to truck drivers who would pick them up at truckstops. The transactions listed in the indictment occurred between February 2011 and November 2012.
The defendants traveled to truckstops in the Northern District of Ohio and elsewhere where they posed as truck drivers, approached customer service counters, presented the stolen account and requested checks from electronic funds processing (EFPs) such as Comdata, Fleet One and TCH, according to the indictment. The indictment does not indicate how the group obtained the account numbers and codes.
The scheme reportedly began with email 'phishing scams' in which criminals obtained access to information by sending company employees emails that opened up viruses and malware, according to published reports.
NATSO members seeking additional information should contact the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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