August 21, 2023

Former North Carolina trucking company employee accused of embezzling over $900K

A federal grand jury has indicted a former employee of a North Carolina-based trucking company, alleging she defrauded her employer of more than $900,000.

Michelle Wilshire, 48, of Hickory, North Carolina, was charged with six counts of wire fraud, five counts of tax fraud and two counts of money laundering, according to the indictment filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

According to public records, Wilshire worked for Tru-Pak Moving Systems in Conover, North Carolina, for more than 15 years. Tru-Pak, a family-owned company, has 16 drivers and the same number of trucks and provides global moving services for the military, as well as residential and corporate moves.

What happened?

The indictment states that Wilshire worked as a moving coordinator before being promoted to a Comdata administrator for Tru-Pak in 2016. 

Her duties included coordinating labor expenses and issuing checks, as well as handling all electronic transfers and ensuring the necessary funds were loaded onto prepaid debit cards through Comdata Inc., a Tennessee-based third-party provider of fleet management and electronic payment solutions.

Federal investigators allege that from January 2016 to July 2021, Wilshire devised and executed a scheme to defraud her employer by issuing multiple Comdata prepaid debit cards in her name and in the names of other individuals, including former employees, fictitious employees and current employees who were not aware the cards existed.

“Wilshire then caused Comdata to load funds onto these prepaid debit cards. She allegedly withdrew these funds via cash withdrawals at multiple ATMs in Catawba County and elsewhere,” the indictment alleges.

As of publication, a representative for Tru-Pak did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment.

Between November 2017 and July 2021, Wilshire allegedly withdrew more than $528,000 from prepaid Comdata cards funded by the moving company, court documents state.

Federal prosecutors also allege Wilshire embezzled company funds by using Comdata’s Comchek and Comchek Mobile services to issue checks in her name and to make multiple wire transfers into her personal bank account, which totaled over $315,000. The indictment claims she directed Comdata to transfer more than $58,000 into the bank account of an unnamed former employee. 

Wilshire prepared and filed her individual income tax returns for the tax years 2017-2021, which did not include the additional funds she allegedly received through her embezzlement scheme, the indictment states.

Her initial court appearance is set for Aug. 29. No attorney is listed for Wilshire. 

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