In a lawsuit against Arrow Trucking, a bank alleges the flatbed carrier conducted a fraudulent scheme to overbill the institution and appropriated federal and state tax obligations for its own use.
On Jan. 8, Ogden, Utah-based Transportation Alliance Bank sued the family-run trucking company for $12.5 million in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Defendants include Carol Pielsticker, director and chairwoman, and Doug Pielsticker, former chief executive officer and president.
The carrier filed for bankruptcy and had a board meeting that same day, when it accepted Doug Pielsticker’s resignation.
The suit states TAB’s agreement with Arrow Trucking was to buy certain accounts receivable, but alleges the carrier had misrepresented itself in signing the agreement, including not disclosing a vendor’s lawsuit.
When TAB began investigating billing discrepancies in July, unidentified accomplices of Arrow Trucking posed as customers to verify information to the bank. The discrepancies occurred when the carrier would submit an invoice to a customer and then provide the same invoice for a higher amount to TAB, keeping the difference, the plaintiff alleges.
When Arrow Trucking closed Dec. 22, TAB’s remote connection to the company’s account receivable was terminated, leaving the institution unable to respond to customers or collect debts, the suit contends.
The suit also alleges Arrow misappropriated state and federal tax money and withheld for its own use $9 million in Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Also on Jan. 8, a second lawsuit was filed in the same Oklahoma court by 21 plaintiffs who said Arrow Trucking had violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies of a certain size give 60 days notice before closing. A similar class action lawsuit was filed against Arrow Trucking Dec. 28.