FMCSA Fines Two Motor Carriers for Multiple Violations; Earlier Investigation of Third Leads to Criminal Action
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
May 15, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Contact: Dave Longo
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has fined a motor carrier from New Hampshire and another from Virginia and that, as a result of investigation, three employees of a Florida mover pled guilty in federal court to criminal action.
Cormier Movers of North Hampton, N.H., and ACM Transportation of Fairfax, Va., were served with Notice of Claim letters. FMCSA uses these letters to initiate enforcement action for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The carriers were assessed civil penalties of $21,000 and $220,000 respectively.
Cormier, a for-hire carrier that primarily hauls household goods, was cited for improper handling of loss and damage claims, for failing to provide the required consumer information (“Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”) and an accurate summary of its dispute settlement process, and for failing to weigh interstate household good shipments in the required form and manner.
According to the FMCSA, interstate common carriers of household goods must provide consumers with certain information so that they will understand their rights as customers. Shipments transported on a weight-based estimate must be weighed in a specific manner. Upon delivery, the consumer should receive a weigh ticket stating the actual weight of the shipment. The weight is used in determining the total charges of the shipment.
ACM Transportation LLC, a for-hire motor carrier that primarily hauls garbage, refuse and trash, was cited for multiple violations of the FMCSR discovered involving drug and alcohol testing and excessive hours of service. They were discovered during an investigation conducted by FMCSA’s Virginia Division. Also, ACM Transportation was issued a proposed unsatisfactory safety rating for these violations.
FMCSA also announced today that a June 1998 investigation has led to criminal action. Defendants David Frank, Melanie Murphy, and Caroline McGowan pled guilty before United States District Court Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley to conspiracy and tariff violations in the transportation of household goods across state lines.
The defendants, employees of All American Van Lines, Pembroke Park, Fla., provided local and interstate shipping service to the public. As a result of the underlying investigation that led to these charges, All American Van Lines discontinued business. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher J. Clark presented this case on behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida. The defendants face sentencing of up to two years in prison and may be required to pay restitution to shippers.
Consumers may now file a household goods or other commercial complaint on FMCSA’s nationwide complaint hotline at 1-888-368-7238 (1-888-DOT-SAFT). A commercial complaint form is available on FMCSA’s website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov. Completed complaint forms may be mailed to FMCSA, Consumer Affairs Office, 400 Virginia Ave., S.W., MC-PA, Washington DC 20024 or faxed to 202-358-7100.
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