The former president of Continental Express Inc. has been indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing money from the trucking company, Arkansas Business reported Friday, April 4.
Kelly Wooldridge, who was president of the Little Rock, Ark.-based company between 2002 and May 2005, is accused of creating companies and opening bank accounts with names similar to legitimate companies, according to Arkansas Business; the indictment on Wednesday, April 2, said Wooldridge conspired with Todd Tiefel, the former chief financial officer, to open the bank accounts.
Tiefel pleaded guilty in January before he was indicted on a federal charge of aiding and abetting mail fraud, which cost Continental between $400,000 and $1 million, Arkansas Business reported; Tiefel could face up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. No sentencing date has been set yet.
While working at Continental, according to the indictment, Wooldridge and Tiefel took insurance reimbursement checks meant for Continental’s subsidiary, Great Western Leasing LLC, and deposited them into their own accounts, called Great Western LLC, according to Arkansas Business; that cost Continental $440,000. The indictment said that another $77,000 from truck and trailer sales ended up in the account controlled by Wooldridge and Tiefel, Arkansas Business reported.
The indictment said Wooldridge and Tiefel also had checks totaling $234,000 that was supposed to go to the legitimate Great Western deposited in their Great Western account, according to Arkansas Business; Wooldridge and Tiefel used the money they took to buy a hunting club, the indictment said.
The indictment also accused Wooldridge of receiving duplicate salaries, Arkansas Business reported; while Wooldridge was president, Continental paid him $368,000, but he also received $286,000 in salary from Gibraltar National Insurance Co. of Little Rock, which was a subsidiary of Continental Express, the indictment said. Wooldridge wasn’t entitled to that money, according to the indictment.
In January, Tre Kitchens, Wooldridge’s attorney, said, “We certainly deny any allegations that Mr. Wooldridge did anything improper.”