Perry County Business Owners Sentenced For Defrauding And Extorting Their Customers
LONDON, Ky. – A Perry County couple, who owned several trucking companies, have both been sentenced to 56 months’ imprisonment, for defrauding and extorting more than 65 of their customers.
On August 14, 2017, U.S. Circuit Judge Amul Thapar, sitting by designation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, sentenced 50-year-old Elliot Campbell on his convictions for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion. Judge Thapar previously sentenced Melinda Campbell, 41, Elliot Campbell’s wife, on May 24, 2017. Under federal law, both will have to serve at least 85 percent of their 56-month sentences. They have also been ordered to pay $137,210.87 in restitution to their victims.
Both were found guilty of the charges following a jury trial in March of 2016.
The evidence at trial established that, from 2010 until 2012, the Campbells operated trucking companies and contracted with shipping brokers throughout the country to transport cargo freight. According to evidence, the Campbells induced shipping brokers to enter into contracts with special conditions, such as date-specific deliveries using a team of drivers or “dedicated loads” that would transport only a single customer’s cargo freight on a truck. Once the defendants obtained the cargo freight, however, they intentionally failed to fulfill the specified delivery conditions in the contract and then held the cargo hostage, by demanding payment prior to delivery. In response to complaints from shipping brokers, the Campbells created new companies and used false names to disguise and continue their fraudulent scheme, which inflicted significant financial harm on their victims.
Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Thomas J. Ullom, Regional Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, jointly announced the sentences.