Trucking executive sentenced to federal prison in $14 million fraud scheme to fund ‘luxurious lifestyle’

An Indiana man has been sentenced to federal prison after being convicted in connection with a multi-year scheme to defraud his employer of millions of dollars

Daniel Fruits, 47, was sentenced to six years in prison after previously pleading guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

Fruits was also sentenced to three years of probation after his release and was ordered to pay $14,339,252.04 in restitution to his victims and a $14,270,000 money judgment.

Authorities say Fruits, who was tasked with managing and running Greenwood, Indiana-based trucking company Secure Transit on behalf of the Kentucky entity Kloiber Management Services LLC, engaged in a more than 4 1/2-year scheme to defraud the company from more than 14 million dollars.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kloiber Management Services invested more than $14 million in Secure Transit. Fruits allegedly took the $14 million investment and concealed its holdings through false and misleading financial statements. Fruits is also accused of using those falsified financial statements to his employer to induce additional investment in the trucking company.

Officials say Fruits used the proceeds to fund a “lavish lifestyle,” buying the following items:

  • immobility
  • Several vehicles, including two Ferraris and a Corvette
  • Farm equipment including a horse trailer
  • A show horse
  • Expensive jewelry, including several Rolex watches
  • Firearms
  • Private jet flights
  • Luxury escort services.

In mid-2019, Fruits’ employer, Kloiber Management Services, asked Fruits to have an accountant review Secure Transit’s financial statements and provide a report, but instead of complying, allegedly created a forged letter from an accountant . When his employer contacted the accountant, they learned the letter was fictitious. The fruits were pulled the next day and the victims called the police.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigations.

Investigators also learned that Fruits attempted to defraud Fifth Third Bank of $432,000 by providing false documents to secure a mortgage.

In addition, investigators learned that Fruits orchestrated a title laundering scheme that fraudulently removed Ally Financial’s lien on a $69,607 truck.

“Mr. Fruits stole an outrageous amount of money to fuel an extravagant lifestyle, covering up his crimes with years of lies and false documents,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Complex economic crimes like these devastate the finances and security of businesses and individuals. The serious prison sentence imposed today demonstrates that this US Attorney’s office, the FBI, the IRS-CI and all of our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to bring them to justice these criminals.”

“Mr. Fruits put his personal greed ahead of loyalty to a company that entrusted him with money and used funds that were not his to finance a lavish lifestyle. Even after his arrest, the defendant still intended to- defrauds others for his own personal gain,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The FBI and our partners will continue to investigate those who engage in these types of financial fraud and ensure that they are held accountable.โ€

“The role of IRS Criminal Investigation becomes even more important in embezzlement and fraud cases because of the complex financial transactions that can take time to resolve,” said Justin Campbell, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Field Office. “We, along with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously pursue those who victimize their employers and violate the public trust, as demonstrated in today’s sentencing of Mr. Fruits.”

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