A federal grand jury in Nebraska recently indicted two former trucking employees of Roadrunner Temperature Controlled, alleging the pair orchestrated an elaborate wire fraud scheme to defraud the company out of nearly $113,000.
Amy Shepherd, 42, of Kansas, and Johnny Bradford II, 50, of Lancaster, California, were charged with four counts of wire fraud on Jan. 19, according to a grand jury indictment filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.
According to the indictment, from July 2016 through June 21, 2019, Shepherd worked in various roles, including as a customer service manager, a driver business leader manager and finally, as a dispatch lead manager, during her employment at Roadrunner. She worked remotely from her home in Kansas, according to court documents.
Bradford drove for the refrigerated division of Roadrunner from Feb. 28, 2017, through May 4, 2018.
At the time, Roadrunner used EFS, an electronic wire transfer service, to issue driver cash advances for equipment repairs, trailer washouts or to pay lumper fees to third-party workers to unload its trailers.
Prosecutors allege that beginning in February 2018, Shepherd used her position to fraudulently generate advances and enter EFS check codes, which she then sent to Bradford over a 16-month period.
According to the indictment, Bradford would cash the checks at vendor establishments, then he would “use Western Union to send portions of the money he received from the fraudulent driver advances back to Shepherd.”
It’s unclear in court documents how Shepherd allegedly continued to send electronic wire transfers to Bradford for a light repair for $300 in February 2019, and for a trailer alternator costing nearly $827 in June 2019, through Roadrunner’s accounting system, nearly a year after the truck driver was no longer employed by the refrigerated carrier.
As of publication, U.S. Attorney Sean P. Lynch did not respond to FreightWaves’ request seeking comment.
No attorneys for Shepherd or Bradford are listed on the court’s docket and neither have entered a plea to the wire fraud charges. However, the pair’s first appearance in federal court is set for Feb. 17 in Omaha.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the pair each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and $250,000 fines if convicted.
In August 2020, Roadrunner Transportation Systems Inc. (OTC: RRTS) announced it had sold Roadrunner Temperature Controlled to Laurel Oak Capital Partners. The private equity firm’s managing partners, Rena Clark and Emanuel Slater, did not return FreightWaves’ messages seeking comment about the grand jury indictment against Shepherd and Bradford.
Roadrunner’s troubled past
Federal prosecutors launched an investigation into two former Roadrunner executives in June 2018, before leveling charges against Armbruster in April 2019. Following a 14-day trial in July 2021, Armbruster was found guilty but the jury acquitted former controllers of Roadrunner’s truckload division, Mark Wogsland and Bret Naggs, of all charges.
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