A former Redfield man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution in a bankruptcy fraud case.
Roger D. Waldner of Dubuque, Iowa, was sentenced earlier this week in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
Waldner must pay restitution to the U.S. Bankruptcy trustee for his role in driving a well-known Dubuque trucking company into the ground, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney C.J. Williams.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported that H&W Motor Express collapsed in 2002 after 75 years of business throughout the Midwest. In a few decades, a company that had started with one truck running between Dubuque and Chicago in 1927 grew to a coast-to-coast, multimillion-dollar firm.
Waldner acquired the company in 2001. The company filed for bankruptcy a year-and-a-half later.
The prosecutor said it was a scam he was familiar with.
“It’s what we call a ‘white knight bleed-out,’” he said. “Somebody portrays themselves to be a knight in shining armor, on a white steed, coming in to save a failing company.
“What they do instead is they come in and they basically take over the company, create other subsidiary companies, and bleed out all the assets of the company to these subsidiary companies, and it ultimately places the company into bankruptcy and then they walk away with the money,” Williams said.
In May 2007, Waldner pleaded guilty to two counts of the bankruptcy fraud charge. He admitted to lying about his affiliation with and the connection among three companies — Nationwide, Solace and H&W — according to Williams.
Nationwide and Solace were owned and operated by a corporation called One Stop Inc., based in South Dakota and owned by Waldner.
Williams said Waldner transferred more than $1 million from H&W to Nationwide and Solace, causing H&W to collapse.
According to the newspaper, a judge found that Waldner obstructed justice during investigations into the case by lying to law enforcement officers and providing them with fabricated records.
It took more than a year to proceed to sentencing due to health problems of the defense attorney and the complex nature of the case.
After this week’s hearing, Waldner was placed into federal custody.
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