Former fleet employee sentenced for embezzling $700k

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, June 7, 2021:

Former trucking company employee sentenced for embezzling $700k from family-owned fleet
Christen Diane Schulte, a former bookkeeper and office manager for a family-owned farm and trucking company based in New Haven, Missouri, has been sentenced to six years and eight months in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, between January 2018 and February 2020, Schulte embezzled approximately $727,000 from her former employers, Maczuk Farms Trucking and Maczuk Farms. After her release from prison, Schulte will be required to serve five years of supervised release and pay $517,140.46 in restitution.

As part of her scheme, Schulte fraudulently and without permission used the companies’ credit cards for personal expenditures. She also fraudulently caused American Express and FirstBank to issue her new credit cards in the names of the companies. She allegedly fraudulently charged more than 1,800 transactions totaling more than $532,000 on those credit cards.

Schulte also allegedly forged the signatures of the owner and several employees of companies, on checks from several different bank accounts, including personal accounts of the employees. Several of these checks were made payable to Schulte, but some of them she made payable to the companies in order to conceal the lost funds related to her credit card scheme.

Other forged checks were drawn from a bank account held by the Berger Levee District of Franklin County, which is a taxpayer-funded levee district responsible for creating flood control projects in Franklin County, Missouri. Schulte reportedly forged the treasurer’s signature of the Berger Levee District on checks she made payable to the companies in order to conceal the lost funds related to her credit card scheme. Schulte used the fraudulently obtained funds for her own personal gain, including purchasing jewelry, a travel trailer, vehicles, and vacation travel. 

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The battery-electric trucks will service the fleet’s routes to retail customers throughout New York City, Long Island and surrounding counties from one of the company’s warehouses located in Hunts Point in the Bronx.

Manhattan Beer Distributors is one of the largest beverage distributors in the U.S. and the largest beer purveyor in the New York City area, serving nearly 25,000 customers from five operational sites located in and around metropolitan New York.

J.B. Hunt announces endowed scholarship funds
J.B. Hunt (CCJ Top 250, No. 3) and the University of Arkansas announced two new funds that will advance the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ focus on sustainability and inclusion in supply chain by accelerating current projects and creating an endowed scholarship program.

The J.B. Hunt Inclusion in Supply Chain Endowed Scholarship Fund will establish an ongoing scholarship program to encourage students to pursue supply chain careers and contribute to the college’s diverse educational environment. The endowed fund will be based on an initial investment of $1 million.

Recipients must be enrolled in Walton College, working towards an undergraduate degree in supply chain, and demonstrate their potential to advance inclusivity. Each application will be considered on an individual basis, and recipients will be determined by the department head of the Walton College Department of Supply Chain Management.

The J.B. Hunt Supply Chain Management Department Current Use Accelerator Fund will help expedite several inclusivity and sustainability initiatives stemming from the a $2.25 million collaboration announced earlier this year – the J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Inclusion Education and Thought Leadership Fund and the J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Sustainable Supply Chain Management Research, Innovation and Education Fund. The $250,000 gift will also help promote the supply chain management department efforts and the new endowed scholarship opportunity.