Drivers

Arrow Trucking Files for Bankruptcy Liquidation

January 10, 2010

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Arrow Trucking, the Tulsa, Okla.-based flatbed carrier that suspended operations abruptly right before Christmas, has filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation as its main creditor filed suit against the carrier,
reports the Tulsa World.

According to the bankruptcy petition, the company's assets are between $100 million and $500 million and it has debts in the same range. The petition was approved by Chairwoman Carol Pielsticker, the sole remaining director of Arrow's board.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy provides for the sale of a debtor's nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. That's different from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceeding, where a bankruptcy judge helps work out deals with a company's creditors so it may stay in business.

In its bankruptcy petition, Arrow lists between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors.

Meanwhile, Arrow Trucking Co. was sued Friday by its main creditor, Utah-based Transportation Alliance Bank, alleging fraud and racketeering. As the Tulsa World reports, court records show that In the final weeks before the company collapsed, executives at Arrow allegedly submitted false invoice reports to the Utah bank and received $1.18 million in emergency cash infusions to stay in business. The suit alleges the company submitted invoice reports of more than $27 million, of which the bank believes more than $12.5 million were inflated.

The lawsuit also alleges that during 2009, company executives received "extremely excessive and over-market salaries relative to their job duties."

The Utah bank said in the suit it became concerned last July about possible irregularities in documents. Things finally reached a head Dec. 21, when TAB shut off the company's credit line and canceled its fuel cards.

Arrow laid off all 1400 employees without notice, turning off the phones, shutting down the web site, and shutting down headquarters. Many drivers first found out when their fuel cards no longer worked, and many were stranded without a way to get home right before Christmas.

The TAB lawsuit is far from Arrow's only legal problems.

Philadelphia lawyer Charles Ercole, a partner with the law firm of Klehr Harrison Harvey Bransburg LLP, has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of former Arrow employees. The suit alleges violations of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (better known as the WARN Act), as well as state wage payment laws, for the company's failure to give 60 days notice before closing, and for bouncing paychecks prior to closing. Based on a preliminary investigation, Ercole says the claims for the class could total upwards of $15 million.

Numerous other lawsuits are pending against the company for defaulting on its financial obligations.



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