Owners Of Tennessee Trucking Companies Charged In 13-Count Federal Indictment
Dorian Ayache, 65, of Lebanon, Tenn. and Theresa Vincent, 53, of Murfreesboro, Tenn. were indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on charges related to the violation of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, announced David Rivera, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The indictment charges Ayache with nine counts of violating DOT regulations, one count of conspiring to defraud the United States, and two counts of obstructing a grand jury investigation. Vincent was charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and with one count of perjury.
According to the indictment, Ayache was the owner and operator of Three Angels Farms, an interstate commercial motor carrier based in Lebanon, Tenn., and Vincent was the owner and supposed operator of Terri’s Farm, an interstate commercial motor carrier based in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
In June 2012 DOT deemed that the operations of Three Angels Farms posed an imminent hazard to public safety and issued an order requiring Ayache to cease commercial motor vehicle operations. DOT’s Order was based on Ayache’s unacceptable safety practices, including his failure to adequately maintain his commercial motor vehicles and his failure to ensure that drivers were qualified, and cited 2012 accidents on I-40 and I-24 in Tennessee that resulted in fatal injuries to horses being transported.
The indictment alleges that, in violation of this order, Ayache continued his commercial motor carrier operations under the name and authority of Terri’s Farm, as well as under other names. DOT later categorized Terri’s Farm as a mere continuation of Three Angels Farm.
The indictment also alleges that Ayache concealed and attempted to destroy emails with the intent to impair their availability for use in the grand jury investigation and that Vincent made false statements under oath to a grand jury regarding her communications with Dorian Ayache during the investigation.
If convicted, Ayache faces up to 20 years in prison on each obstruction charge, up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy charge, and up to 1 year in prison for each charge of violating DOT regulations. Vincent faces up to 5 years in prison on both the conspiracy count and the perjury charges, if convicted.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William F. Abely.
An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.