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HHG moving company owner gets prison time for fraud scheme

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022:

Lior Atiyas (a.k.a. David Cohen), the owner of a moving company using several names, was sentenced July 14 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to 22 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $200 special assessment. Atiyas was also ordered to forfeit $587,097, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

In November 2020, Atiyas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud. According to court documents and statements made in court, Atiyas devised a scheme to enrich a moving company, using several names to conceal the company’s true identity, including Premier Relocations LLC, Metro Van Lines, Inc., and others.

Between January 2016 and January 2019, Atiyas and an employee reportedly extorted customers by quoting them low estimates for moving household goods. Once the goods were loaded on trucks, Atiyas directed employees to raise moving prices to amounts that were often two or three times more than initial quotes. Customers were refused their property until they paid the higher prices.

Atiyas also admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Medicaid by generating false paystubs and employment documents to obtain Medicaid benefits for an uncharged conspirator.

[Related: $22M judgement against household mover in Florida]

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