Two men where arrested in Ohio and charged in a multi-state fuel advance scheme and defrauding a Bordentown Township, NJ, trucking company out of $10,000, according to the Burlington County Times.
Hollie “Buddy” Adkins, 64, of Westland, Mich., and Alfred J. Yobbi, 65, of Harrisburg, N.C., reportedly pulled the scam on Frank Wood, owner of Frank Wood Transportation, Bordentown, NJ.
Representing themselves as employees with Interstate Motor Freight Systems — using the aliases of Buddy Decker and John Genovese — Adkins and Yobbi subcontacted with Wood to pick up two shipments of freight and store it at his warehouse, according to Bordentown police Lt. Brian Pesce. The two never paid Wood the $9,688 owed for his services, but collected $3,244 fuel advances for the shipments.
Adkins and Yobbi are also accused of collecting another $4,758 in fuel advances for shipments they picked up in warehouses in Pennsylvania and Delaware and then abandoned, Pesce said.
Use of online advertising and freight brokers has led to fuel advance fraud becoming a common practice in the trucking industry, Pesce said. The crooks arrange to haul freight for trucking companies just to collect the fuel advance money, and then abandon the freight once the advance is wired to them.
Adkins and Yobbi’s identities were uncovered after investigators traced seven of the fraudulent fuel advances to truck stops in the Bordentown area. The two suspects fled New Jersey to avoid apprehension, Pesce said.
Detectives tracked Adkins and Yobbi to a hotel in Lake Township, OH, where they were arrested without incident on Aug. 4. They were in possession of a stolen Penske International flatbed rental truck, Pesce said. Both men were extradited from Ohio to Chemung County, NY, where they are alleged to have committed similar frauds. Bordentown Township’s investigation identified at least 10 other trucking companies in the tri-state area that allegedly were victimized by the suspects.
Adkins was charged with eight counts of theft by deception and one count of deceptive business practices. His bail for the Bordentown Township charges was set at $50,000.
Yobbi was charged with one count of theft by deception and one count of deceptive business practices. His bail was set at $100,000. He is considered a fugitive from North Carolina on charges of check fraud, police said. He previously served 2½ years in prisons for 2002 convictions in Warren County for theft by deception, theft of services and fraud, according to the New Jersey Dept. of Corrections.
Adkins and Yobbi are expected to be extradited to New Jersey after the conclusion of their criminal cases in New York.