The owners of J&M Trucking, Inc, a Lebanon, MO trucking company have been found guilty of charges including fraud, money laundering, wire fraud, and making false statements to federal agents. The husband and wife team, James and Melinda Ivey are jointly and severally liable to pay $797,325 in restitution to Tracker Marine, the Springfield, MO-based boat manufacturer that they were stealing form.
James Ivey has sentenced to five years and six months in federal prison without the chance of parole and Melinda Ivey was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison without the chance of parole.
In addition, Paul Hunting, the co-defendant, pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy, and failing to file an income tax return. He was ordered to pay $294,496 in restitution to Tracker Marine and was sentenced to jail time of one year and one day.
The scam started in 2006 when J&M was hauling boats and trailers to Tracker Marine’s dealers throughout North America. When Hunting was promoted to transportation manager for Tracker Marine, J&M began submitting invoices that had 158 more miles than were actually driven. Initially, the per-mile reimbursement rate was $1.90. That meant that for every load carried, J&M was invoicing Tracker Marine for $300 more than it should have been. The money was split evenly between James Ivey, Melinda Ivey, and Hunting.
Between January 2006 and April 2009, the reimbursement rate increased to $2.10 per mile and a total of 2,550 fraudulent invoices had been submitted resulting in a loss of at least $797,325.