Head of bogus Maryland trucking company pleads guilty to wire-fraud

October 1, 2019

Greg Grisolano

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A Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of wire fraud stemming from a conspiracy to bilk brokers by posing as a legitimate trucking company.

William Francis Hickey III entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud in federal court in Maryland on Sept. 27.

According to prosecutors, Hickey deposited over 1,000 truck industry checks worth $1.17 million into his business bank accounts. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy and for the wire fraud.

The wire fraud scheme

According to his plea agreement, Hickey was the managing member of Hickey Consulting LLC and president of Latino Consulting LLC, both headquartered in Baltimore. Hickey maintained bank accounts in the names of both companies, which he used to deposit checks fraudulently obtained by his co-conspirators.

From May 2016 through Jan. 31, 2019, Hickey conspired with others, including a co-conspirator in Pakistan, to devise and execute a scheme to defraud trucking companies and logistical brokers hired by shippers to arrange for trucking companies to transport their loads, according to charges filed by the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the plea agreement, Hickey admitted that he and his co-conspirators obtained truck industry checks from brokers by posing as legitimate trucking companies; entering into agreements with brokers to transport loads; re-brokering, or “double brokering,” the same load to an actual trucking company; and then seeking payment from the brokers for transportation services that the members of the conspiracy did not provide.

After the legitimate trucking company picked up the load, the conspirators requested an express code from the broker for the fuel advance payment, then used the express code to populate and subsequently cash or deposit a truck industry check.  n some cases, the conspirators also requested a second express code from the original broker after the load was delivered, to deposit a second truck industry check. The trucking company that actually transported the goods did not get paid.

A sentencing hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 20.

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Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.