Former trucking officials indicted in fraud scheme

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Two former senior management officials at an Indianapolis-based transportation and trucking company have been charged in a securities and accounting fraud scheme, according to authorities.

William Meek, 39, and Bobby Lee Peavler, 40, were named in an indictment unsealed Thursday in federal court in Indianapolis, the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Indiana said.

They appeared in court on conspiracy to commit wire, bank and security fraud and other charges. Both were released on bail.

Earlier this year, Celadon Group, Inc. agreed to pay $42.2 million in restitution to settle securities fraud charges stemming from falsely reporting inflated profits and assets to investors.

The scheme “misled shareholders, banks, accountants and the investing public,” Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a release.

Meek, Peavler and others at Celadon knew the value of a substantial portion of Celadon’s trucks declined in part to a slowdown in the trucking market, and many of the trucks owned by one of Celadon’s divisions had serious mechanical issues that made them unattractive to drivers, according to the indictment.

The alleged scheme caused Celadon to conceal losses to its shareholders, banks and the investing public.

In May 2017, Celadon announced that its financial statements issued for fiscal year 2016 ... as well as the quarters ending in September and December 2016 could no longer be relied on, authorities said, adding that Celadon’s share price dropped significantly following the announcement. A one-day loss in Celadon’s market value was more than $62 million.

The Associated Press was unable Thursday night to reach attorneys representing Meek and Peavler.

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