Former Chief Financial Officer of Publicly Traded Company Sentenced to Two Years for Significant Securities Fraud
The former chief financial officer of Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. (Roadrunner), a publicly-traded trucking and logistics company formerly headquartered in Cudahy, Wisconsin, was sentenced yesterday in the Eastern District of Wisconsin to 24 months in prison for his role in a complex securities and accounting fraud scheme.
According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, Peter R. Armbruster, 62, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, participated in a sophisticated accounting fraud scheme that resulted in Roadrunner filing materially false financial statements with the SEC for the third quarter of 2016. Evidence presented at trial showed that Armbruster inflated Roadrunner’s reported income by misrepresenting Roadrunner’s expenses. His actions caused the investing public to lose tens of millions of dollars when Roadrunner eventually announced that it would need to restate its previously filed financial statements, triggering a sharp drop in the company’s stock. On July 29, following an 11-day trial, a jury convicted Armbruster of four counts of violating federal securities laws, including misleading a public company’s auditors, securities fraud, and keeping false books and records.
“This sentence reflects the serious harm an executive caused by deliberately misleading shareholders, auditors, and the general public about the financial health of a publicly traded company,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “People deserve better from corporate management. The Criminal Division remains committed to fighting white-collar crime, protecting investors, and safeguarding the integrity of our markets from C-suite executives who commit accounting and securities fraud.”
“Peter Armbruster failed to honestly perform his corporate duties, costing investors tens of millions of dollars in losses,” said Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. “Corporate fraud remains a top priority for the FBI, as stamping out illegal activity like this scheme is essential to preserving confidence in our collective ability to invest for a brighter tomorrow. This sentencing shows that the FBI and our law enforcement partners vigilantly protect American investors from corporate fraud while holding accountable those who undermine our way of life.”
“This sentencing sends a strong message that those who commit transportation-related financial fraud will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Andrea M. Kropf of the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Midwestern Region. “Together with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, we will continue to identify, investigate, and pursue those who perpetrate complex criminal schemes for profit.”
The FBI’s Milwaukee Division and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General are investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Emily Scruggs and Kyle Hankey and Acting Principal Assistant Chief Justin Weitz of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin R. Cottingham, formerly of the Fraud Section, provided valuable assistance.