Five years to the day after Arrow Trucking Co. closed its doors and stranded hundreds of drivers on the road with no paychecks or fuel cards, former CEO Doug Pielsticker pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of fraud and conspiracy. Pielsticker entered his plea on Monday, Dec. 22, in federal court in Tulsa, Okla.
Pielsticker was arrested in Dallas on Dec. 4. Federal prosecutors unsealed a 23-charge indictment against him the following day, alleging that Pielsticker conspired and committed acts of bank fraud in excess of $15 million in the months prior to the collapse of Arrow Trucking Co. on Dec. 22, 2009.
Prosecutors allege that Pielsticker, now 46, filed false tax returns in 2007, 2008 and 2009 by under-reporting his wages and that he used non-payroll accounts to make payments to his ex-wife, finance expensive cars, and buy a vacation property.
Pielsticker faces a trial in U.S. District Court. He remains free after posting a $50,000 bond. According to a news report, the federal judge in the case asked Pielsticker to turn over his passport but Pielsticker said he could not find it.
Authorities closed in on Pielsticker after another Arrow Trucking Co. executive, Jonathan Leland Moore, struck a plea deal and fingered Pielsticker as a fraud conspirator.
Among the 23 counts against the former CEO are charges relating to bank fraud. According to the indictment, Pielsticker schemed to defraud Utah-based Transportation Alliance Bank, known as TAB, by misreporting assets in an effort to secure loans.
Pielsticker filed for bankruptcy protection soon after he closed Arrow Trucking Co.
In 2011, company drivers filed a civil lawsuit seeking restitution against Pielsticker and his mother, Carol Pielsticker Bump. That lawsuit was settled out of court, but not before revealing that the pair had been spending lavishly even as Arrow Trucking Co. was going down the tubes.
The trustee in the civil suit, Patrick Malloy, estimated that Arrow Trucking Co. had $8.5 million in assets but owed $99 million to creditors. Eventually, the settlement distributed $2 million to 550 company drivers.
No date has been set for Doug Pielsticker’s criminal trial.
See related stories:
Feds: Former Arrow Trucking execs swindled millions in fraud schemes
Former Arrow Trucking Co. exec Pielsticker arrested
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