Former Owner of Tennessee Company Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges Relating to $9 Million Corporate Transaction
Angela M. Suddarth, 51, of Orlando, Florida and previously of Goodlettsville, Tennessee, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on fraud charges relating to the sale of a transportation brokerage company, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The 22-count indictment charges Suddarth with wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, aggravated identity theft, perjury, bankruptcy fraud, and making a false statement to a federal agency.
According to the indictment, Suddarth owned Shipper Direct Logistics, a transportation brokerage company based in Hendersonville, Tennessee. In 2012, Suddarth entered into an agreement to sell her transportation brokerage assets to Echo Global Logistics, a public company based in Chicago, Illinois, for approximately $9 million. In connection with this transaction, Suddarth fraudulently inflated revenue figures and provided false and fabricated financial reports and information to Echo Global Logistics. Suddarth also falsely represented that the financial information had been prepared by a Certified Public Accountant and fabricated e-mails to appear that information had been sent by the Certified Public Accountant.
The indictment also charges Suddarth with causing a fabricated e-mail that appeared to come from an employee of Echo Global Logistics to be submitted to a U.S. Department of Labor investigator, although no such e-mail was ever actually sent. In addition, the indictment charges Suddarth with making false statements in a sworn affidavit submitted in connection with a federal civil lawsuit and with lying on a bankruptcy petition by falsely stating that she had not earned any income in 2011, 2012, or 2013.
If convicted, Suddarth faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and mail fraud, up to 10 years in prison for each money laundering charge, and up to five years in prison for each charge of making a false statement, bankruptcy fraud, and perjury. Suddarth faces an additional two-year mandatory minimum sentence if convicted on the charges of aggravated identity theft.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely.
An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.