July 10, 2018
Iowa Man Sentenced to 2 Years’ Incarceration for Motor Carrier Fraud Scheme
On July 10, 2018, Bret J. Tratchel was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Davenport, Iowa, to 2 years’ incarceration; 3 years’ supervised release; $35,801 in restitution to Quaker Transportation, Inc., a victim of his scheme; and a $300 special assessment fee. Tratchel pleaded guilty on October 24, 2016, to wire fraud and making false statements or representations to the United States.
This investigation was based on allegations that Tratchel provided false information to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when he applied for Motor Carrier and Broker Authority. FMCSA requires motor carriers to disclose prior company affiliations. Tratchel operated CK Logistics and did not disclose to FMCSA that he also had business interests in BT Ent LLC Inc. and JBT Logistics LLC.
This scheme allowed Tratchel to confuse his customers, circumvent legitimate registration requirements, and operate without proper FMCSA authority. He also submitted false invoices, bills of lading, and similar documents to his customers to cause them to pay him fraudulently.
DOT-OIG conducted the investigation with the Washington County Iowa Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Iowa. Additional assistance was provided by FMCSA and the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.