As expected on Wednesday, Feb. 4, the former CEO of Tulsa-based Arrow Trucking Co., Doug Pielsticker, changed his plea to guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and on one count of evasion on his personal income taxes. While scaled back from the initial 23-count indictment he initially pleaded not guilty to, Pielsticker still faces up to 10 years in prison when he appears before a judge in May.
U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the North District of Oklahoma announced that Pielsticker, 46, has admitted to evading his personal income taxes and using Arrow Trucking Co. payroll withholdings to finance a wedding and expensive Bentley and Maserati automobiles.
Attorneys agreed that the remaining 21 counts would be dropped in exchange for the guilty plea on two counts.
Pielsticker pulled the plug on Arrow Trucking Co. on Dec. 22, 2009, leaving drivers stranded without paychecks and fuel cards.
The company’s former chief financial officer, Jonathan Leland Moore, copped to a plea deal that named Pielsticker as a co-conspirator in a scheme to defraud Utah-based Transportation Alliance Bank out of $15 million in loans by overstating and misrepresenting the worth of Arrow Trucking Co.
Moore’s plea deal lead to Pielsticker’s arrest in Dallas in early December 2014. Later that month, on the fifth anniversary of the Arrow Trucking Co. shutdown, a grand jury indicted Pielsticker on 23 criminal counts. He posted $50,000 bond and has remained free.
The U.S. Department of Justice says the maximum sentence for pleading guilty to the two federal counts is 10 years in prison.
“As part of the plea agreement, Pielsticker admitted that he evaded his individual income taxes due and owing to the United States for 2009 by causing Arrow Trucking to spend thousands of dollars on his various personal expenses, including payments related to his wedding and on Bentley and Maserati automobiles,” the DOJ stated Wednesday in a press release.
The DOJ says Pielsticker will be sentenced May 15 in Tulsa.
Doug Pielsticker was named CEO of Arrow Trucking Co. by his mother Carol in 2001 after his father and company president Jim Pielsticker, was killed in a plane crash.
Arrow Trucking Co. had 1,400 trucks in 2008 when the company signed a deal with Daimler to replace its fleet with new trucks over five years. According to court documents, Arrow Trucking Co. suffered from cash flow problems in 2009 and began borrowing from Transportation Alliance Bank using inflated statements about company assets.
After the company’s downfall, a civil lawsuit filed by drivers against Pielsticker revealed that Arrow Trucking Co. had $8.5 million in assets but owed $99 million to creditors. The lawsuit, later settled, revealed that Pielsticker and his mother, Carol Pielsticker Bump, had spent lavishly on themselves as Arrow Trucking was on its way to bankruptcy.
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