The former president and CEO of the now-closed Arrow Trucking pleaded guilty Feb. 4 to one count of conspiracy and one count of tax evasion stemming from his misuse of company money and schemes designed to overcharge customers for services.
James Douglas Pielsticker, who led Arrow until the company’s sudden closure in December 2009, now faces up to 10 years in prison (each count carries a maximum five-year sentence) and more than $50 million in potential fines, as the court has the option to fine Pielsticker double that of what he defrauded victims and the IRS — $25 million and change.
In December he was indicted on 23 counts of fraud and tax evasion charges. Per the plea deal, the other charges have been dismissed, according to court documents.
Prosecutors claimed that Pielsticker inflated invoices sent to the company’s creditor, Transportation Alliance Bank, and used company funds to pay for personal expenses like his wedding, a Porsche, a Bentley, a Maserati, personal credit cards and deposits into his wife’s bank account.
Pielsticker would send invoices that he knew were fraudulently inflated, prosecutors said, and would even have Arrow employees pretend to be Arrow customers in phone calls with the creditor.
Prosecutors say Pielsticker obtained $15 million the scheme. He owed another $10.6 million to the IRS, according to court documents.
Pielsticker’s abuse of company money and mismanagement are partly what led to the company’s demise. Arrow shut down suddenly and without notice in December 2009, leaving its drivers, trucks and freight stranded nationwide.