Broker sentenced to 10 years for scamming more than 100 truckers

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 3/29/2012

A California man, who set up more than two dozen fraudulent brokerages and trucking companies over a six-year period, was sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison on March 27.

Kulwant Singh Gill, 53, of Antelope, CA, was also ordered to pay more than $443,000 in restitution to his victims by U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.

Gill pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and five counts of making false statements to a government agency back in September 2009.

Lauren Horwood, public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, told Land Line on Thursday, March 29, that “more than 100 victims” fell prey to Gill’s double-brokering scheme from 2002 to 2008.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration first started investigating Gill back in 2002 after receiving complaints from truckers, including OOIDA members, who were never paid for the loads they hauled and weren’t told that the loads were being double-brokered.

After he received payment from the broker, he “would retain this payment, and would refuse to pay the motor carrier for the services it rendered.”

Once he started receiving calls from truckers demanding payment, Gill would close down those companies, change the names and addresses, and set up new operations.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said the Gill case is a “classic example” of why broker reform is needed in the trucking industry. Both the House and Senate transportation bills have provisions to close some of the loopholes that bad brokers exploit. The bills also have provisions to raise the current bond for brokers and freight forwarders from $10,000 to $100,000.

“The current system for registering and the requirements on brokers have been broken for a long time,” Spencer said Thursday. “We have some in this industry who are saying that no reform is needed, that everything is fine, but we know how wrong those comments are.”

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