Valley truck stops unwitting participants in $1.5 million dollar - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Valley truck stops unwitting participants in $1.5 million dollar fraud

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - A New York man has been sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution for his role in a conspiracy that skimmed more than $1.7 million from trucking companies.

Dilshod Sidikov, aka “Dema”, 26, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was sentenced to 37 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio said Sidikov and 25 conspirators  tried to turn truck stops into their own personal ATMs.  The original indictment listed seven local truck stops used in the scheme, including Mr Fuel and Pilot in Weathersfield Township, Flying J and Loves in Hubbard, TA and Pilot in Austintown, and the Pilot in North Lima.

Sidikov and other conspirators obtained account numbers and codes used by independent trucking companies to wire money to the companies’ drivers from February 2011 through November 2012.

Dettelbach says the scheme involved electronic fund processing companies (EFP's) such as Fleet One, Comdata, and TCH, which are used by trucking companies to electronically transfer funds to truck drivers at truck stops and other locations throughout the country.

Drivers typically obtain the money by providing information to a customer service representative at a participating truck stop. That information is then relayed via wire to an EFP processing center. Once the EFP has authorized the request for money, the truck stop will issue a check to the driver who then cashes it.

Individuals obtained account numbers and codes used by trucking companies to issue checks through EFPs. These account numbers and codes were obtained without the knowledge or consent of the trucking companies. The individuals then provided the stolen account numbers and codes via telephone calls or text messages to the defendants, according to the indictment.

The defendants traveled to truck stops in northern  Ohio and elsewhere. Once at the truck stops, they posed as truck drivers, approached customer service counters, presented the stolen account numbers and codes, and requested checks from EFPs such as Comdata, Fleet One and TCH, according to the indictment.

Customer service representatives at the truck stops then processed the requests by sending the account numbers and codes via wire to EFP processing centers located outside the Northern District of Ohio. The EFPs then authorized the requests and authorized the truck stop customer service representatives, via wire, to print checks for the defendants. They then endorsed the checks and cashed them at the truck stops, according to the indictment.

In total, the defendants fraudulently obtained a gross amount of more than $1.7 million, according to court documents.

From about February 2011 to November 2012, Sidikov and other defendants conspired to launder money by transferring the proceeds of this scheme overseas and then back to the United States.
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