Former trucking company owners indicted on wire fraud, extortion charges

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Three former trucking company owners have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Kentucky for allegedly devising a scheme to defraud and extort money from brokers by demanding payment prior to delivering the freight.

According to court documents filed in federal court in Kentucky on Sept. 24, Elliot C. Campbell, Melinda J. Campbell and Bryan Napier have each been indicted on one count of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion.

Court documents alleged the three would use the Internet to access load boards. Then, after successfully bidding on loads and agreeing on payment once the loads were delivered, they would then call the shippers and would “threaten not to deliver the cargo freight to its contracted-for destination unless and until the shipping broker rendered payment.”

Over a 16-month period, from around Oct. 8, 2010 to approximately Feb. 7, 2012, the Campbells and Napier controlled and operated three trucking companies, including Interstate Lines Inc., West Coast Trans Inc., and Zink Inc., all based out of CATTS Auto Sales, a maintenance garage in Chavies, Ky.

After a broker filed a complaint against the existing company, court documents allege the three would close down the trucking company and form a new one under a different name. When registering the company with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the former owners would claim that “they had no relationship with any other FMCSA-regulated entity within the past three years,” according to court documents.

Court documents allege that besides setting up the three trucking companies, they also used 11 different aliases, including Kyle Adams, Clay Daniels, Eric Noble, Luke Reynolds, Maggie Ritchie, Seth Rock, Brian Napier, Ryan Napier, Vickie Veil, Vinnie Vonn and Vickie Vonn.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Amul R. Thapar.

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