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DOT Fines Valley National Bank for Charter Violations. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Valley National Bank of Wayne, N.J., $125,000 for violating rules for public charter flights.  Valley National Bank held escrow accounts for two public charter operators that ceased service last year: Direct Air, also known as Myrtle Beach Direct Air & Tours, and EZjet Air Services. The escrow accounts protect passenger payments in case refunds are needed.  DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that Valley National Bank violated DOT rules by transferring funds from Direct Air’s escrow account to a fuel supplier before paying the airlines operating flights for Direct Air.  The bank made the payments without invoices from the fuel company or documentation identifying fuel costs for specific flights, as required by DOT regulations.  In addition, the bank transferred escrow funds to EZjet’s operating account without receiving the required verification that the flights had been completed.  DOT’s consent order is available at www.regulations.gov, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004.

DOT 76-13

Wednesday, September 4, 2013