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Inside the investigation into a double-brokering scheme — Long-Haul Crime Log

‘You’ve got a lot of angry people … trying to find out who is trying to find them’

Hundreds of trucking companies had been allegedly defrauded in an elaborate scheme utilizing a controversial practice called double brokering. After months of investigating, reporter Clarissa Hawes got a tip that led to a series of bizarre phone calls with the man who owned a freight brokerage at the center of the operation. 

“You’ve got a lot of angry people … trying to find out who is trying to find them, who is trying to hurt their kids, their families,” he told Hawes. 

The latest episode of Long-Haul Crime Log wades into Hawes’ investigation into a network of companies in Southern California connected to the scheme and her efforts to find the people responsible for it. 

It led her to a transportation executive named Steve Avetyan, who once boasted of handing out Rolex watches — he called them “Rollies” — as bonuses for his best sales staff. 

Avetyan claimed to be someone else when Hawes first called him. He eventually admitted to being Avetyan, but denied any involvement in the double-brokering network. 

More from the investigation

About the podcast

Long-Haul Crime Log is a podcast about crime in the trucking industry. Reach out at crime@freightwaves.com or find us on Twitter @LongHaulCrime.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.