Monday, January 18, 2021

FedEx manager charged in kickback scheme to secure shipment contracts

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A FedEx Ground manager has been indicted on accusations that he accepted bribes from multiple Utah truck company owners who paid more than $1 million to secure hundreds of millions in revenue over the last 10 years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Ten people were charged in U. S. District Court, including 47-year-old Bountiful resident Ryan Lee Mower.

Mower was the highest-ranking FedEx Ground employee in the state from at least 2008 to October 2019, according to the indictments. He faces 51 counts for exploiting his position for financial gain.

Mower and others were suspected of fraudulently obtaining contracts for FedEx shipments, allowing unauthorized runs, boosting miles and accepting payments for ghost runs, prosecutors said.

Mower was issued a summons to appear in court Wednesday. He doesn’t have a listed attorney in court records or a listed phone number.

The company is disappointed by the “egregious” actions and is cooperating with authorities, FedEx Ground spokeswoman Meredith Miller said in a statement.

“FedEx Ground does not tolerate illegal activity. We expect all employees and service providers to act with the highest ethical standards and we take very seriously this deliberate evasion of the company’s compliance programs,” the statement said.

Most of the payments cited by prosecutors were for work that was actually performed and the financial loss for FedEx Ground was only was a “small fraction” of what is outlined in the indictment, Miller said.

The nine others mentioned in the indictment were arrested or warrants were issued for their arrest. But some live in other states, including California, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, promotional money laundering and concealment of money laundering carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, the U.S. attorney’s office in Utah said. Money laundering carries a sentence up to 10 years in prison.

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