Arrow Trucking Lawsuit Alleges Millions Of Dollars In Fraud
By Dan Bewley, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Tulsa-based company Arrow Trucking is being accused of swindling a Utah bank out of more than $12 million.
The company shut down operations three days before Christmas, saying it didn't have money for paychecks and had the drivers' gas cards turned off. The move left hundreds of drivers stranded across the country and everyone wondering what happened.
Now a federal lawsuit filed on Friday details the months leading up to Arrow's closing.
Transportation Alliance Bank, or TAB, in Ogden, Utah was Arrow's main lender. It accuses Arrow of months of false statements and deception that resulted in the bank paying Arrow $12.5 million in inflated invoices.
Among the allegations, that Arrow would show TAB a false invoice that a customer owed more money that it actually did. Then Arrow would change the invoice for the customer to show the actual amount owed and Arrow would keep the difference.
A source who used to work in Arrow's billing department tells The News On 6, employees didn't know why they were changing the invoices and that it went on for several months before the bank discovered the discrepancy.
The bank eventually cut off financing and Arrow shut down, leaving nearly 1,500 people without a job, including Oregon truck driver Mark Miller.
"The way I told it to people, is four years ago I had nothing bad to say about them, the past two years I've got nothing to say about them at all because it wouldn't be any good," said Mark Miller, former Arrow driver.
Miller paid Arrow $134,000 over a four year period to buy his truck and become an owner/operator. But once Miller had paid for the truck, he says Arrow wouldn't help him get the lien removed. Now the bank won't let him have the truck and Miller's life has been turned upside down.
"I lost my truck. I lost my business. I lost the new employer that I had set up after Arrow, I've got nothing," said Mark Miller.
TAB also says officials at Arrow admitted to not paying more than $9 million in payroll taxes in the past year.
The lawsuit also claims that Carol Pielsticker, Arrow's chairwoman, was paid an average of $10,000 a week during 2009. And that her son and company owner, Doug Pielsticker, received a $20,000 check from Arrow the week before the company shut down and let go all of its employees.
Also on Friday, Arrow Trucking filed for bankruptcy. According to court documents, CEO Doug Pielsticker has resigned.