United States District Court, D. Nevada
the court are several motions filed by both parties in this
case. Specifically, Defendants Dark Horse Transport,
("DHT"), Angel Helsley, and Jeremy Yingling
(collectively "Defendants") filed a motion to
dismiss, (ECF No. 16), and a motion to compel discovery. (ECF
No. 26). Plaintiff Joseph Allred ("Allred")
responded to Defendants' motion to dismiss, (ECF No. 19),
and Defendants replied. (ECF No. 20). However, Allred has not
filed any response or opposition to the motion to compel.
addition, before the court is Allred's motion to amend
the complaint. (ECF 27). Defendants filed a response to this
motion, (ECF No. 30), however, Allred did not file a reply
considered ail of the above, the court finds as follows: (1)
Defendants' motion to dismiss is granted; (2)
Allred's motion to amend is denied with prejudice; and,
(3) Defendants' motion to compel is denied as moot.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
in February 2017, Allred accepted a position from Defendant
Jeremy Yingling to work as a "hot shot" truck
driver for DHT. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 13). Yingling told
Allred that in order to work for DHT as a driver, he would be
required to purchase insurance. (Id. at ¶ 15).
The yearly premium for the insurance would cost $21, 960 and
Allred was required to pay an upfront amount of $4, 500.00.
(Id.) Allred paid the upfront cost for the
insurance. In addition, at some point, Yingling convinced
Allred to purchase a trailer owned by Yingling for $9,
000.00. (Id. at ¶ 14).
also agreed to hire Frederick "Rick" Williams as a
tandem driving partner for Allred after Allred agreed to take
out an $18, 000.00 loan from Williams's sister to cover
Williams's start-costs. (Id. at ¶ 17).
Thereafter, on September 29, 2017, Yingling loaned one of his
trucks to Allred to use with his recently purchased trailer.
(Id. at ¶ 19). Shortly thereafter, Allred and
Williams left on their first "tandem" run for DHT
on October 2, 2017.
October 13, 2017, while on the run for DHT, Williams and
Allred were staying in Ogden, Utah. (Id. at ¶
21). At some point, Williams drove the truck and trailer to
their motel while Allred had dinner at a local pub and grill.
(Id.). Later that night Allred took a taxi back to
the motel and noticed a wrecked 2018 Chevrolet Duramax in the
parking lot. (Id. at ¶ 22). When Allred awoke
the next morning, Williams, the truck, and trailer were
called Williams. (Id.) Williams answered and stated
they needed to leave Ogden immediately and he refused to come
back to the motel. (Id.) Ultimately, Williams
admitted that he a hit the damaged Chevy Duramax in the motel
parking lot and he failed to report the accident.
(Id. at ¶ 23). Thus, he wanted to leave Ogden
before he was discovered. (Id.)
decided it was best he and Williams part ways. (Id.
at ¶ 24). Allred purchased Williams a bus ticket to
return to home while Allred continued with the run to Salt
Lake City in order to pick up two loads. (Id.).
Thereafter, Allred was contacted by Yingling. (Id.
at ¶ 25). Yingling told him to meet his former
brother-in-law in Sparks, Nevada when he came back from Utah.
(Id.) Yingling stated he was concerned about his
truck and he wanted his former brother-in-law to take the
truck and trailer to finish the delivery of the load to
Sacramento. (Id.) Yingling indicated he would return
Allred's trailer to him after the delivery was made.
contacted Yingling on Monday, October 16, 2017 in order to
pick up his trailer. (Id. at ¶ 26). Yingling
and Allred agreed to meet at the Walmar: parking lot in
Gardnerville. (Id. at ¶ 29). When Allred
arrived, the trailer was not there. Yingling told Allred the
trailer could not be moved because "they" had
chalked the tires and Yingling was "served with an
injunction" related to the hit and run accident in
Ogden, Utah. (Id. at ¶ 30). Yingling explained
that no one could move the trailer or use it until the
injunction was lifted otherwise they would be subject to
"fines and or jail time." (Id.) Yingling
told Allred that a payment of $10, 000.00 would have to be
made to "lift the injunction." (Id. at
¶ 32). Yingling also claimed that payment would have to
be made directly to Yingling because he was served with the
injunction. (Id. at ¶ 33).
meantime, Yingling notified Allred that Williams' sister,
Elizabeth Williams-Gonzalez, began demanding immediate
payment on the loan she had provided to Allred. (Id.
at ¶ 35). Yingling stated Williams-Gonzalez's
attorney was threatening litigation if repayment was not
made. (Id.) Yingling claimed Allred would need to
pay him $10, 000.00 to lift the injunction and an additional
$10, 000.00 to pay toward the loan to Williams-Gonzalez.
(Id. at ¶ 36).
Allred secured a $25, 000.00 loan from "an independent
investor" in order to pay off the injunction and the
loan amount. (Id. at ¶ 37). Allred paid the
$10, 000.00 to Yingling, who provided him with title to the
trailer. (Id. at ¶¶ 37-38). At this time,
Allred learned that Yingling had used the trailer on a few
occasions - even though he previously stated it could not be
moved until the injunction was lifted. (Id. at
¶¶ 38-39). Allred asked for receipt for the payment
on the injunction, however, Yingling told him the case was
over and the injunction was "levied" by
Williams-Gonzalez's attorney. (Id. at ¶40).
spite of all of this, Allred went back to work for DHT at
some point after paying the injunction. (Id. at
¶ 46). When he returned, he was informed that he would
now be paid a substandard contract rate until he had driven
for DHT without any additional incidents. (Id.)
Allred believed he was being punished and
"extorted" by Yingling for Williams's accident.
of his runs after returning to DHT, Allred took a hot shot
run to Colorado. (Id. at ¶ 41). On his way
there, his truck broke down. (Id.) He called the DHT
front office to tell them of the situation and that he needed
roadside assistance. He was told the insurance he had paid
for did not cover roadside assistance. (Id.) As a
result, Allred was stranded on the side of the road for three
point, Allred requested DHT wire him the wages he was owned
so he could repair his truck and return to work.
(Id.) Yingling assured Allred DHT would factor his
last runs and send him a "few thousand dollars" to
repair his truck. (Id.) Ultimately, another trucking
company in Colorado loaned Allred a truck in order to deliver
his load. (Id. at ¶ 42). After advising
Yingling of the situation, Yingling stated that DHT officer
manager, "Angel Chelsey, " would "factor"
this run into the previous runs so that Allred would have
more wages for the repairs. (Id. at ¶¶
delivering the load in Colorado, Allred called and texted
Yingling several times to ask about receiving payment of his
wages. (Id. at ¶ 43). "Halsey"
answered the calls and told Allred her hands were tied and
Yingling had told her not to send Allred the wages.
(Id.) "Halsey" apologized several times
and claimed she had no idea why Yingling was not taking
Allred's calls or responding to him. (Id. at
¶ 44). "Halsey" claimed she was instructed to
tell Allred that when the factoring company paid for his
runs, DHT would forward him the outstanding wages.
(Id. at ¶ 45). Allred contacted the factoring
company and learned that the company had paid DHT for his
runs the previous week. (Id.)
became suspicious of Yingling and contacted Williams.
(Id. at ¶ 48). Williams told him that he had
been working for Yingling in the weeks following the accident
and there was no injunction on the trailer. (Id.)
Williams also claimed that Yingling had negotiated the issue
with the trailer down to $4, 800.00. (/d.) Thereafter, Allred
sent a demand letter to Yingling for a copy of the receipt
for the injunction and copies of all legal paperwork related
to the alleged injunction. (Id. at ¶ 49).
Yingling did not respond. Ultimately, on March 2, 2018,
Allred received a letter from DHT stating that Allred had
been removed from DHT's commercial insurance policy and
advising Allred owed an outstanding balance to the insurance
company of approximately $2, 396.00, which would be deducted
from his remaining wages. (Id. at ¶ 50.)
August 30, 2018, Allred filed his complaint in this action
against Defendants DHT, Helsey and Yingling. (ECF No. 1). The
first cause of action alleges a civil claim under the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act
("RICC") pursuant to federal law. (Id. at
¶¶ 51-55). In this cause of action, Allred claims
Defendants are liable under the RICO Act based on their
alleged violations of three predicate offenses: (1) wire
fraud pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1343; (2) money laundering
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1957; and, (3) sale or receipt
of stolen goods pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2315.
(Id. at ¶ 53).Allred also has asserted seven
state law claims consisting of a state RICO violation, breach
of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing for contractual and tortious breaches,
conversion, fraudulent or "international"
misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional
distress. (Id. at p. 1; ¶¶ 56-88). The
complaint asserts this court has jurisdiction over this case
based on federal question jurisdiction due to the civil RICO
claim as well as diversity jurisdiction. (Id. at
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on October 22, 2018.
(ECF No. 16). Defendants argue the complaint fails to state
of claim under both the federal and state RICO acts because
it fails to assert any continuity of criminal acts as well as
any relationship to those acts. (Id. at 4-5).
Moreover, there is no alleged criminal activity that can be
discerned from the complaint. (Id. at p. 5). As
such, Defendants argue the federal RICO claim should be
dismissed and the court should reject: supplemental
jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. In the
alternative, at a minimum, Defendants argue the fraudulent
mispresentation claim should also be dismissed due a failure
to properly plead this cause of action with ...