September 26, 2019
Maryland Resident Convicted on Wire Fraud Charges
On September 26, 2019, William Francis Hickey III pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Baltimore, Maryland, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He was the managing member of Hickey Consulting LLC and president of Latino Consulting LLC, both headquartered in Baltimore. He maintained bank accounts in the names of both companies and used them to deposit over 1,000 fraudulently obtained checks valued at $1 million.
According to the investigation, from May 2016 through January 2019, Hickey conspired with others to defraud trucking companies and logistics brokers, who are hired by shippers to arrange for trucking companies to transport goods. The logistics brokers pay the trucking companies with “truck industry checks.” In actuality, the broker provides a numerical “express code” that the trucking company uses to populate a blank check that can be deposited in bank accounts or cashed at truck stops or check-cashing establishments.
Hickey admitted that, to obtain truck industry checks, he and his co-conspirators posed as legitimate truck companies by entering into agreements with brokers to transport goods; re-brokering or “double brokering” the same goods to a real trucking company; and then seeking payment from the brokers for transportation services they did not provide. After the legitimate trucking company picked up the goods, the conspirators requested an express code from the broker, purportedly to cover fuel costs, and then used that code to populate and subsequently cash or deposit a truck industry check. In some cases, the conspirators requested a second express code after the goods were delivered and deposited a second truck industry check. However, they did not pay the trucking companies that actually transported the goods.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations, with substantial assistance from FMCSA.