• ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
  • ITVI.USA
    13,795.070
    81.410
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    26.560
    -0.120
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    13,740.380
    64.000
    0.5%
  • TLT.USA
    2.720
    -0.060
    -2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.670
    0.130
    5.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.930
    0.280
    10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.320
    -0.020
    -1.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.040
    0.050
    1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.740
    0.050
    3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.210
    0.000
    0%
  • WAIT.USA
    108.000
    5.000
    4.9%
Legal issuesNewsTrucking

Ex-payroll clerk accused of swiping funds from trucking company

South Dakota woman pleads not guilty in connection with alleged 10-year-long wire fraud scheme.

The former billing and payroll clerk for a South Dakota trucking company has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 16 counts of wire fraud. 

The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, claims that Sheila Verbrugge, 50, used her position to divert funds from her employer into her personal accounts.

She pleaded not guilty in federal court on Aug. 25. 

According to court records, Verbrugge worked for Blachowske Truck Line, headquartered in Brandon, South Dakota, for approximately 14 years. The family-owned pneumatic tank company, founded by Dwane Blachowske 63 years ago, has 52 power units and 49 drivers.

Over a 10-year period, from January 2010 to April 2020, federal investigators claim that Verbrugge “falsely and fraudulently issued T-Cheks payable to herself” and deposited the money into her personal accounts.

T-Cheks Systems Inc. was acquired by WEX Inc. in 2016. It was previously owned by Electronic Funds Source (EFS). Trucking companies like Blachowske use the electronic funds transfer system to pay truck drivers’ fuel and maintenance expenses while drivers are out on the road.

Each week, T-Cheks emailed an invoice to Blachowske for its charges. The carrier paid the invoice electronically using an automated clearing house (ACH) payment, according to court filings.

On multiple occasions, investigators claim Verbrugge issued T-Cheks payable to herself, but then altered the names on the weekly T-Chek reports to include the names and locations of Blachowske truck drivers. Because of the false information on the reports, Blachowske paid the invoices. 

Court documents don’t include the amount Verbrugge is alleged to have siphoned from the motor carrier.

Jeff Peterson, logistics manager for Blachowske Truck Line, told FreightWaves he has no comment because of the ongoing investigation. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy has scheduled Verbrugge’s jury trial for Nov. 3.

Read more articles by FreightWaves’ Clarissa Hawes

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Trucking company owner indicted in PPP loan fraud, Ponzi scheme

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Clarissa Hawes, Senior Editor, Investigations and Enterprise

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and Trucks.com. Clarissa lives in the Kansas City area with her family. If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to chawes@freightwaves.com.

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