LONDON — A guilty verdict has been delivered at the trial of Elliott and Melinda Campbell of Perry County in a federal court case involving the defrauding and extorting of customers. Elliott Campbell was convicted on six counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. Melinda Campbell was found guilty on five counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit extortion.
The attorneys spent three days presenting their arguments in the trial. After two days of deliberation, the jury rendered its verdict. On March 18, the conviction was announced jointly by U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey, F.B.I. Agent Howard Marshall and Thomas J. Ullom, who is an inspector with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The evidence in the trial established that, from 2010 until 2012, the Campbells operated trucking companies and contracted with shipping brokers throughout the country to transport cargo freight. According to the evidence, the Campbells induced shipping brokers to enter into contracts with special conditions, which stipulated that payment would occur after delivery. Once the pair obtained the cargo freight, however, they failed to fulfill the specified conditions of delivery and then held the cargo hostage by demanding payment prior to delivery. In response to complaints from shipping brokers, the Campbells created new companies and used false names, in order to continue their fraudulent scheme.
The Campbell’s face a possible maximum of 20-years in prison for the one extortion conviction and additional 20-year sentences for each of the wire fraud convictions. The wire fraud conspiracy conviction also carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison. Sentencing in the trial is set for June 14.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.