Investigating Household Goods Fraud
On September 20, 2012, the Principal Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Timothy M. Barry testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, regarding the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) investigative work involving household goods (HHG) transportation fraud. Mr. Barry discussed criminal conduct OIG has targeted through its investigations – conduct which typically consists of holding a customer’s household goods hostage while demanding significantly larger sums of money than originally quoted. Mr. Barry also described for the Committee OIG’s national fraud project to proactively identify the most egregious consumer complaints involving hostage loads against HHG carriers and brokers, a project which is focused on those that illicitly engage in hostage fraud schemes. In addition, Mr. Barry highlighted several options available to consumers who believe they have been victimized by such schemes.