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Arkansas Freight Broker Sentenced to 51 Months in Prison and Ordered to Pay Over $165,000 in Restitution

On October 20, 2008, John D. Russell, a commercial freight broker/freight forwarder, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Fort Smith, Arkansas, in connection with a scheme to defraud interstate carriers entitled to freight fees. Mr. Russell was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $165,712 to approximately 15 victims. Mr. Russell operated transportation brokering companies that collected freight fees from shippers. He would broker the loads for transportation to other carriers, collect the freight fees and in many instances he failed to pay the companies that transported the freight. Mr. Russell pled guilty to the wire fraud charge in February. This was a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.