In the summer of 1995, Marshall Siegel, president of the Independent Truckers Owner-Operators Association (I-TOO), Canton, MA, was rejecting allegations that he used I-TOO's loan/insurance program to scam owner-operators. Through his attorney, he denied charges of wrongdoing and blamed another truck driver association, OOIDA, of instigating the attack in order to destroy him. However, in November, Siegel and Marilyn L. Kriensky, an I-TOO officer, pleaded guilty to bilking truckers out of more than $200,000.
Before the U.S. District Court in Boston on Nov. 5, 1998, Siegel pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to a federally insured bank. Kriensky pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge. Both are scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 20 in the U.S. District Court in Boston. Siegel faces a maximum sentence of 30 years, a $1 million fine and restitution.
According to the U.S. Attorney's office in Boston, Siegel and Kriensky devised and executed a scheme to defraud truckers who received bank loans to purchase vehicles under an I-TOO sponsored program. The bank loan included an overstated cost of insurance for the first five year period of the loan. When Siegel received the checks for insurance from the bank, he deposited the checks into a bank account and paid the actual insurance bills, which were usually significantly less than the amount loaned. Siegel pocketed the remainder.
A civil case initiated by OOIDA member Keith Nark and two other truckers uncovered evidence that led to the federal indictment. This civil action (Nark v. Siegel) was filed in May 1995 after Nark complained to OOIDA. The case is still pending in the Massachusetts Norfolk Superior Court. The truckers are represented by John Kiernan, Boston attorney.
Kiernan expects truckers victimized by the scam will be able to make "victim impact statements" at the sentencing.