DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) – Owners of Iowa trucking companies will receive funds from a Louisiana company who charged truckers $99 to update their bi-annual information with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which can be done for free on a federal government website.
According to the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's Office, Louisiana-based Compliance Educators LLC agreed to pay $14,850 in refunds to the Iowa truckers whom they sent fraudulent letters to which were made to look as though they were from a federal agency. The letters came under the names DotService.com and DOT Compliance Group and stated past-due fees must be paid or the truckers would lose activation of their USDOT number and be forced to pay civil penalties.
In small type the mailings included a statement that said "DOT Service is not part of the Department of Transportation," the attorney general's office said in a release.
Miller's office said his Consumer Protection Division began investigating Compliance Educators after receiving a complaint from an Iowa trucker.
In addition to the refunds, Compliance Educators will also pay $7,000 to the state's consumer fraud enforcement fund and will stop doing business in the state, according to the attorney general's office.