Bessemer Man Detained at Home for 15 Months, Must Repay $110,295 to Shipping Company for Kickback Scheme
BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge last week sentenced a Bessemer man to 15 months of electronically monitored home detention as part of four years’ probation for a kickback scheme he ran while working as a freight broker for a Shelby County company, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton.
U.S. District Judge Madeline H. Haikala sentenced WILLIAM G. McCULLEY, 31, on one count of wire fraud and ordered him to pay $60,295 in restitution to his former employer, Interstar Transportation Services, plus $50,000 to Auto-Owners Insurance Company, which had paid a related claim from ITS. Judge Haikala also ordered McCulley to forfeit $96,809 to the government as proceeds of illegal activity, and to perform five hours a week of community service during his probation. McCulley pleaded guilty to the wire fraud in June.
ITS is an independent brokerage agency for a Jacksonville, Fla.-based company, Landstar, which operates a fleet of trucks and transportation equipment throughout the United States. McCulley worked as a freight broker for Interstar and was responsible for contracting with various trucking companies across the country.
Between April 2013 and July 2014, McCulley devised a kickback scheme with the owner of an Illinois trucking company, ZDL Express, according to McCulley’s guilty plea. To carry out the scheme, ZDL Express inflated its freight costs to Landstar, and McCulley approved the fraudulent charges. McCulley and ZDL’s owner split the illegally gained profits after ZDL received payment from Landstar, according to court documents.
McCully committed wire fraud when he faxed Landstar Load Confirmation forms from the ITS corporate office in Shelby County to ZDL Express in Illinois and approved fraudulent charges on the forms, according to his plea.
The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Meadows prosecuted.