Perry County Couple Convicted of Fraud Scheme
LONDON — A Perry County couple who owned several trucking companies has been convicted of defrauding and extorting their customers.
On March 18, 2016, a federal jury in London rendered a guilty verdict convicting 49 year-old Elliott Campbell and his wife, Melinda, age 39, of charges related to wire fraud and extortion. Elliott Campbell was convicted of six counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. Melinda Campbell was found guilty of five counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. The jury rendered its verdict after two days of deliberation, following three days of trial.
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 the evidence, the Campbells induced shipping brokers to enter into contracts with special conditions, which stipulated that payment would occur after delivery. Once the pair obtained the cargo freight, however, they failed to fulfill the specified conditions of delivery 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, in order to continue their fraudulent scheme.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Howard Marshall, 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 conviction.
The Campbells are scheduled to be sentenced on June 14, 2016. They face a maximum of 20 years on each wire fraud count, and for the extortion offense. They face a maximum of five years for the wire fraud conspiracy. However, any sentence would be imposed only after the Court has considered the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable statutes.