According to a press release from the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), a New York broker has been indicted on charges of mail and wire fraud.
The OIG reports that on December 11, 2014, Gary Sclafani was indicted by a federal grand jury in a New York U.S. District Court for “defrauding customers after they scheduled auto shipments with Sclafani’s company, AUSA Logistics.”
In November 2013, Sclafani was arrested by DOT-OIG Special Agents, U.S. Postal Inspectors and the NY State Police.
“The complaint alleged that from January 2008 to present, Sclafani, the owner of various auto transport broker entities, engaged in a scheme to defraud consumers by advertising long distance auto transport on the internet; but, after consumers booked the trips and deposited monies, their cars were oftentimes not shipped and Sclafani absconded with their money. Additionally, it is alleged that Sclafani routinely committed bank fraud by withdrawing money from customers’ bank accounts without their authorization or knowledge. The investigation has identified at least 100 victims who have been double-billed for the service or defrauded, via the unauthorized bank account withdrawals, with a monetary loss to consumers of approximately $600,000,” the OIG press release states.
In 2012, the FMCSA revoked Sclafani’s authority to operate AUSA Logistics, however, the OIG alleges, “a year later, Sclafani created a new brokerage entity, named New Logistics, LLC that did not have FMCSA operation authority. New Logistics’ address in North Carolina was later found to be a graveyard. It is believed that Sclafani has created as many as 45 differently-named companies to engage in his fraudulent activities.”
The OIG is conducting the investigation with the U.S. Postal Service and the NY State Police.