The owners of a Tennessee-based trucking business were indicted on federal charges on Sept. 12 after ignoring orders by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to immediately cease operations in June 2012.
FMCSA ordered the shutdown of Three Angels Farms of Murfreesboro, Tenn., which later became Terri’s Farms, a reincarnated carrier. Two serious crashes in January and June of 2012 had resulted in the deaths of at least four horses the company was hauling.
Dorian Ayache, owner of Three Angels Farms, was indicted on charges that he violated the Imminent Hazard Order – IHO – issued by FMCSA. He was also charged with conspiracy and obstruction of an investigation.
According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville, Ayache is accused of selling or transferring truck and trailers belonging to Three Angels Farms, contrary to the provisions in the IHO, to Theresa Vincent, owner of Terri’s Farm. According to the indictment, Ayache then drove for Terri’s Farm.
The indictment claims that Ayache tried to conceal and destroy emails to Vincent. She is accused of making false statements while testifying before the grand jury regarding her communication with Ayache.
Between July 1, 2012 and approximately June 17, 2013, Ayache and Vincent are accused of the following: that they did “willfully, knowingly and unlawfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree with each other and with other persons who are known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to defraud the United States or one of its agencies or department for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating its lawful functions.”
In January 2012, a Three Angels Farms driver fell asleep behind the wheel, veered off the right side of the road and lost control. The trailer carrying 38 horses overturned and three of the horses died. The driver claimed he had been working all night at the farm and only had 30 minutes of rest in a 24-hour period, according to the Imminent Hazard order issued by FMCSA.
Six months later the company was involved in another wreck in which a trailer carrying 36 horses collapsed and snapped in half. One horse had to be euthanized. The investigating agency found that the driver of the truck did not have a valid CDL and the second driver in the vehicle had only a suspended CDL.