Three Angels Farms was shut down in 2012.
Owners of a Tennessee trucking company have been charged in a 13-count federal indictment after they ignored a shut-down order last year.
The indictment charges Dorian 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. Theresa Vincent is charged with conspiring to defraud the United States and with one count of perjury, according to David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The indictment states Ayache was the owner and operator of Three Angels Farms, an interstate commercial motor carrier based in Lebanon. Vincent was the owner and supposed operator of Terri’s Farm, an interstate commercial motor carrier based in Murfreesboro. Both carriers operated the same commercial motor vehicles and performed the same business – transporting horses bound for a slaughter yard in Mexico from Lebanon, Tennessee to Presidio, Texas.
In June 2012, DOT determined Three Angels Farms posed an imminent hazard to public safety and issued an order requiring the transporter to cease its operations. The 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. Three Angels Farms had two accidents over an eight month period involving poorly maintained vehicles and fatigued drivers, which resulted in the deaths of four horses.
The indictment alleges, in violation of the 2012 order, Ayache continued his commercial motor carrier operations under the name Terri’s Farm, as well as under other names. DOT later categorized Terri’s Farm as a reincarnation of Three Angels Farm.
Prosecutors allege Ayache concealed and attempted to destroy emails so they wouldn’t be available for the grand jury investigation. Vincent is accused of making false statements under oath to the grand jury regarding her communications with 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.