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Former CEO of Arrow Trucking Co. asks for shorter prison sentence again


An executive for the company that famously stranded hundreds of truck drivers by shutting down unexpectedly just days before Christmas has asked again for a shorter prison sentence and wants to pay less restitution.

He is asking to be released from prison early in order to reunite “with his family and begin piecing [his] life back together.”

The company’s CEO Douglas Pielsticker pled guilty in 2015 to charges of tax fraud and tax evasion which led to the company’s downfall.

He was sentenced to 7 and a half years in federal prison in Fort Worth. Pielsticker has been in prison since he was sentenced on October 9, 2015. He has served about only a quarter of his sentence but is asking a second time for a shorter sentence.

Hundreds of drivers stranded by arrow’s sudden shutdown

Arrow Trucking went out of business without warning a few days before Christmas in 2009, leaving about 900 of its 1400 drivers stranded on the road without pay or working fuel cards in order to get home. Many of the unemployed and stranded drivers only made it home for Christmas thanks to the kindness of other truck drivers.

Placing the blame elsewhere

Pielsticker originally asked for a shorter sentence due to his lawyer’s alleged incompetence that Pielsticker believes led to a longer sentence. This time, in his request he cited recent changes in federal sentencing guidelines that have the potential to lessen his sentence.

The motion reads, “A reduction in his sentence, whether significant or slight under the guidelines, would be of significant importance to Mr. Pielsticker. The sooner he can reunite with his family and begin piecing their lives back together, the better.”

Federal prosecutors are opposing the request, saying the sentencing guideline changes do not apply to Pielsticker because they are not retroactive, according to Tulsa World. The guidelines he referenced went into effect on November 1, 2015 – less than a month after he was sentenced.

How Arrow Trucking began their downhill decline

In 2008 Arrow Trucking began writing bad checks to lenders, employees, and vendors.

Despite this financial issue, Pielsticker still received a $1.2 million salary and used company funds to pay personal expenses totaling $3.5 million. Court records report that he used these company funds to make payments to Porsche, Bentley, and Maserati automobiles.

Pielsticker and two other Arrow executives conspired to defraud the company lenders and the federal government out of payroll taxes. These crimes clearly caught up with Pielsticker.

Request denied

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s original decision in a 90-month sentence; they are not changing the sentence because the guidelines that were in effect at the time are still valid in regard to Pielsticker’s case.

He is set to be released from prison on August 18, 2022. After his release, he also must serve 3 years post-custody supervised release. Further, he has been ordered to make restitution payments totaling $22 million.

On top of asking for a lesser sentence, Pielsticker is arguing for a lesser amount of restitution to pay as well. Instead of the $22 million, he hopes to only pay $11.5 million because he claims that is “much closer” to the minimum threshold sentencing range that he was sentenced under.

The minimum threshold under the guideline enacted on November 1st would still require Pielsticker to pay the same amount of loss – $22 million.

“The Court observed this when denying defendant’s motion for the variance based upon the then-impending guideline change,” prosecutors state in a court filing.

It appears that Pielsticker will not be released any sooner to be with his family for the holidays – much like the hundreds of truck drivers he carelessly abandoned with the unexpected shutdown.


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