Second Continental Express Trucking Executive Found Guilty in Million-Dollar Fraud Conspiracy
Topics: Continental Express, Kelly Wooldridge
FBI Little Rock Division
January 30, 2009
LITTLE ROCK—Jane W. Duke, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced Kelly Wooldridge, age 50, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in federal District Court Thursday.
Wooldridge, former president, and Todd Tiefel, former chief financial officer of Continental Express, Inc. (CEI) of Little Rock will both be facing sentencing for their conspiracy to defraud CEI of over $1,000,000. Wooldridge and Tiefel face a statutory sentence of not more than 20 years’ imprisonment and/or $250,000 fine or both with three years supervised release.
Tiefel pled guilty to a charge of aiding and abetting mail fraud in January 2008.
According to Tiefel’s testimony at trial, Wooldridge and Teifel devised and carried out a scheme to create companies and open business bank accounts with similar names to business of CEI owner, Ed Harvey. They then diverted payments from Harvey ’s similarly named businesses into the personal business accounts for their own use.
Evidence showed a detailed paper trail of diverted funds from Harvey ’s businesses to the bank accounts for Wooldridge and Teifel. It also revealed that Wooldridge and Teifel diverted $25,000 of Harvey ’s personal funds to one of their bank accounts without Harvey ’s consent or knowledge. Later, $13,500 of that money was used to establish a hunting club. Additionally, while Wooldridge and Teifel were paid six-figure salaries for their positions with CEI, they also continued to receive an unauthorized six-figure salary from the Harvey company each had previously worked for.
“I am proud of the effort put forth by the prosecutor and agent on this case. Their meticulous attention to detail and ability to substantiate the testimony through documentary evidence really carried the day,” stated Duke.
Wooldridge will be sentenced at a later date to be determined by the court. Tiefel is scheduled to appear before United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright on Tuesday, February 3, at 1 p.m. for sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Whatley.
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