Father, 2 sons sentenced for trucking fraud

A federal judge has sentenced a father and his sons to prison and to pay almost $1.12 million in fines for operating a double brokering scheme.

On March 4, Judge Yvette Kane of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania handed down the judgment for the fraud that resulted in 165 victims, according to the inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Rubik Avetyan, 55, of Sunland, Calif. received 50 months imprisonment. His sons, Allen Avetyan, 33, also of Sunland, and Alfred Avetyan, 29, of Porter Ranch, Calif., each received 60 months in prison. Kane ordered the defendants to pay the fines jointly and severally in restitution, according to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith. 

The defendants conspired to create a motor carrier, State Transport Inc. of Harrisburg, Pa., by using false and altered identification in 2008.

After they illicitly acquired a DOT motor carrier registration number for the company, they obtained loads from unsuspecting brokers. They used a different company name to broker the loads to other carriers without the intent of paying the carriers that actually delivered the loads. 

The Avetyans received payments from the original brokers but did not pay the carriers.  State Transport used a post office mail box drop and a telephone service to forward telephone calls and faxes from Pennsylvania to California to conceal their identity and location.

In August 2009, the defendants were charged with conspiracy to defraud trucking companies, mail and wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. In June 2009, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revoked State Transport’s New Entrant registration and ordered it to cease interstate operations.