A release from the U.S. attorney in Newark, N.J., says Shirley Sooy
, 63, currently a Fort Smith resident, has surrendered on fraud charges in an alleged multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme built on her company Trans Vantage Group's work auditing and billing for common carriers and freight-forwarding companies. Her companies paid audited freight bills. But she allegedly commingled and misused the funds, including for payroll and expenses of her companies. The companies lost $42 million, the government said. From a government release:
The money also subsidized millions of dollars in personal expenses, including mortgage payments for personal properties owned by Sooy and others in Bloomsbury, N.J.; Phillipsburg, N.J.; Waretown, N.J.; and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; a 48-foot yacht purchased by Sooy with others; a $135,000 Maserati automobile purchased by a conspirator; payments for personal credit card charges incurred by Sooy and her family members; and payments for remodeling Sooy’s home.
The Justice Department doesn't mention Arkansas connections beyond Sooy's current residence.
Here's the full release.
The freight payment company filed for bankruptcy last year
. The company's "money float," as it was described here
, was a practice of some 20 years.