May 29–A Perry County woman convicted of defrauding customers of a trucking company she and her husband ran has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
Melinda J. Campbell also could be ordered to pay restitution, but the amount has not been set.
Campbell was indicted with her husband, Elliott C. Campbell, and Bryan Napier in 2014.
The indictment said the three operated trucking companies under names that included Interstate Lines Inc., West Coast Trans Inc., and Zink Inc. The companies bid on interstate freight-hauling jobs.
In return for customers paying higher rates, the three promised to honor special conditions such as using a team of drivers, devoting a tractor-trailer exclusively to a customer’s load and delivering loads quickly, but didn’t honor those obligations, the indictment charged.
In addition, the three scammed customers by refusing to deliver loads until customers paid in advance, even though they had agreed to accept payment after delivery, Napier acknowledged in a court document.
As shipping customers filed complaints, the three used fake names, masked the location of their companies’ telephone and fax machines and lied to regulators to continue the scheme, the indictment charged.
Napier pleaded guilty in the conspiracy.
U.S. Disrict Judge Amul R. Thapar sentenced him to two years and nine months in prison last week. Napier must report to prison in August.
Elliott and Melinda Campbell maintained their innocence but a jury convicted them of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit extortion.
They were released pending sentencing, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram revoked their bond and ordered them jailed last September after prosecutors alleged they committed another felony while their case was pending.
The two allegedly schemed to file a false claim with an insurance company, reporting that one of their trucks had been stolen during a delivery in Washington State when in fact they knew it had been towed and impounded after a disgruntled driver left it at a motel, according to court documents.
Melinda Campbell filed a fraudulent claim for $85,000 on the 2006 Peterbilt truck, according to a sworn statement from Christopher Hubbuch, an FBI agent.
Thapar sentenced Campbell last week.
The sentencing order said Campbell is to take part in vocational training while in prison and pursue a degree in funeral services if available.
Elliott Campbell is scheduled to be sentenced June 7.
Bill Estep: 606-678-4655, @billestep1
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