The former chief financial officer for the now-defunct Arrow Trucking has filed a motion this week in federal court asking for his sentence to be thrown out or reduced, due to his receiving ineffective counsel from his attorneys.
Jonathan Leland Moore was sentenced to 35 months in prison and ordered to make restitution of more than $21 million to Transportation Alliance Bank Inc., of Utah, and to the Internal Revenue Service.
Moore conspired with former Arrow Trucking CEO James Douglas Pielsticker by failing to account for and pay federal withholding taxes on behalf of Tulsa-based Arrow Trucking and by making payments to Pielsticker outside the payroll system. Pielsticker was sentenced to more than seven years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges last year, thanks in part to Moore’s cooperation with investigators and testimony during Pielsticker’s sentencing hearing.
In his motion, Moore argues that his defense lawyer made no objection to the time frame of his involvement with the criminal conspiracy, nor did his counsel introduce evidence to challenge the prosecution’s case or the court’s ruling that he be held liable for the bulk of the restitution.
He further stated in the motion that he was “never advised by defense counsel” that losses that occurred when he was not part of the conspiracy could not be used in the calculation of his sentence or for restitution purposes. Moore claims to have been “no longer in the loop regarding tax issues” after being demoted from his position as CFO in June 2009. He seeks an evidentiary hearing from the court, and potentially a new sentencing hearing and restitution order.
Arrow Trucking Co. closed its doors abruptly just before Christmas in 2009, stranding hundreds of drivers without paychecks, fuel cards or the means to get home to their families. Pielsticker filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors soon after the shutdown.
According to the plea agreement and other court records, in 2009 Moore, Pielsticker and others withheld Arrow Trucking Co. employees’ federal income tax withholdings, Medicare and Social Security taxes, but did not report or pay over these taxes to the IRS. Instead, the conspirators used the money to pay for Pielsticker’s personal expenses, and submitted fraudulent invoices to TAB to induce the bank to pay funds to Arrow Trucking Co. that were not warranted. In total, the conspiracy caused a loss to the United States totaling more than $9.562 million, prosecutors claimed.
During the hearing, Moore testified that Pielsticker instructed him and Joseph Mowry, former secretary and general counsel, to create a fraudulent billing scheme by inflating invoices to defraud TAB out of millions. 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” even though the company was clearly in serious financial trouble.
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, as well as his Bentley and Maserati cars. Company money was also used to lease a private jet for personal trips and vacations, among other personal bills.
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