In February, we posted an article about the startling number of carriers that have been red flagged by the FMCSA for closer investigation. The article referred to a four Kansas City trucking companies owned by Binder Singh. In 2008, one of Singh’s companies was placed out of service for failure to pay fines stemming from safety violations. Singh filed bankruptcy and was able to avoid paying the fines. A short time later, Singh opened another trucking company.
A recent investigation by KSHB TV revealed that a startling number of potential chameleon carriers were red flagged for further investigation.
KSHB took an in-depth look at four Kansas City- area carriers that all had their own DOT numbers and were all owned by the same man or had the same address. Closer investigation also revealed that the same man, Binder Singh, owned another company called Royal Transport, INC., that had been placed of out of service in 2008 for failure to pay fines stemming from safety violations and failure to maintain logs.
Singh filed bankruptcy and shut down the company.
A short time later, Singh opened another company, Freight, Inc., got a new DOT number and began business with a clean record.
KSHB took their findings to the FMCSA. In response, the FMCSA said the agency is now investigating the allegations, and in January, the FMCSA issued an Out of Service and Record Consolidation Order to Singh. The order listed all four of Singh’s companies.
Today, the FMCSA acted on that investigation, ordering all four of Singh’s businesses– Royal Transport, Inc.; Nationwide, Inc.; Freight, Inc.; and Midwest A, Inc.– to immediately cease all interstate transportation.
During the investigation, the FMCSA found that Freight, Inc., and Midwest A, Inc., were created to avoid an out-of-service order that was issued to Nationwide, Inc., in July of 2008. FMCSA investigators learned that the “new” companies were still operating the same trucks and using the same drivers and management as Royal, Inc.
“Safety is our top priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Trucking companies that attempt to dodge safety regulations or hide a history of violations by hiding behind a new name have no place on our nation’s roadways.
According to the order, “a motor carrier is reincarnated if there is substantial continuity between the entities and therefore one is merely a continuation of the other. The Field Administrator must demonstrate that the motor carrier operated or attempted to operate under a new identity to avoid complying with a statutory or regulatory requirement; avoid paying a civil penalty; avoid responding to an enforcement action; or avoid being linked with a negative compliance history.”
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