It’s been nearly six years since Arrow Trucking’s financial collapse. Former truck drivers and employees who have been closely monitoring the court proceedings of James “Doug” Pielsticker, former chief executive officer and president, will have to wait another day to learn his fate.
Sentencing for Pielsticker was set for Thursday, Oct. 8, but U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gregory Frizzell delayed it until 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, stating that “he has never had so many objections to a pre-sentencing report,” according to the Tulsa World. Pielsticker is facing up to 10 years in prison.
On Thursday, Jonathan L. Moore, former chief financial officer, testified that Pielsticker instructed him and Joseph Mowry, former secretary and general counsel, to create a fraudulent billing scheme by inflating invoices to defraud Transportation Alliance Bank out of millions. Moore, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy, is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 15. Mowry, who was never charged, died of natural causes at his home in 2011.
In his testimony, Moore said Pielsticker instructed him to pay his own personal bills first before company expenses. According to the Tulsa World, Moore said Pielsticker said “f--- the drivers and f--- fuel” in the months leading up to the company’s demise.
In February, Pielsticker pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of tax evasion after being indicted on 23 counts by federal investigators in December 2014. The indictment alleges that Pielsticker engaged in an $11.4 million elaborate scheme to defraud TAB in Ogden, Utah, and owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $9.5 million in taxes.
In a statement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the agency alleges that Pielsticker and Moore conspired “to defraud the United States by, among other things, failing to account for and pay more than $9 million in payroll taxes, including federal income tax, Medicare and Social Security taxes for Arrow Trucking employees. Prosecutors also alleged that Pielsticker failed to pay personal income taxes during the years 2007 to 2009.”
Despite the company’s dire financial situation leading up to its collapse in December 2009, investigators claim company money was used to pay for Pielsticker’s wedding, his Bentley and Maserati cars. Company money was also used to lease a private jet for personal trips and vacations, among other personal bills.
On Sept 30, Pielsticker filed a motion petitioning the court for a light sentence, citing a “precarious heart condition” known as viral myocarditis nonischemic cardiomyopathy. In his motion for a sentence variance, Pielsticker requests that Judge Frizzell impose “home confinement without imposing any period of incarceration.”
Pielsticker was chief executive officer and president of Arrow Trucking when the “Nightmare before Christmas” occurred. Hundreds of truck drivers were left stranded all over the country, many under loads, with no working fuel cards or paychecks just three days before Christmas in 2009. Meanwhile, Former Arrow employees, as well as many in the trucking industry, banded together to get the stranded drivers home.
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