On May 24, 2017, Melinda Campbell and Bryan Napier were sentenced in U.S. District Court, London, KY, for their role in a conspiracy to defraud shipping brokers. In March 2016, a jury convicted Campbell, co-owner of several trucking companies operating from Catts Auto Sales, Chavies, KY, on five counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion. She was sentenced to 56 months’ incarceration and 36 months’ supervised release. Napier, a former dispatcher at Catts Auto Sales, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in June 2015. He was sentenced to 33 months’ incarceration and 12 months’ supervised release.
Between October 2010, and February 2012, Campbell and Napier conspired to defraud shipping brokers by agreeing to transport cargo loads for a certain price. They then demanded additional payments before delivery, essentially holding the cargo hostage. When the shipping brokers filed complaints, Campbell and Napier organized new trucking companies and used aliases to continue their scheme. Also, in violation of FMSCA requirements, they did not reveal that they were associated with other FMCSA-regulated companies when they registered the new trucking companies.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the FBI with assistance from FMCSA.