A FedEx Ground manager has been indicted on accusations that he accepted bribes from multiple Utah truck company owners who paid more than $1 million to secure hundreds of millions in revenue over the last 10 years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.
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Among the 10 people named in the indictment was 47-year-old Ryan Lee Mower, who had been the highest-ranking FedEx Ground employee in the state from at least 2008 to October 2019, according to the indictments.
Mower, according to court documents, is primarily responsible for overseeing FedEx Ground's contract service providers and ensuring that each local trucking company complied with its policies and regulations.
Mower faces 51 counts for allegedly exploiting his position for financial gain.
"Fair play, honest dealings, and transparency are core values in the American business landscape. Bribery and corrupt practices are not," said U.S. Attorney John W. Huber.
"The conduct alleged in the indictment not only runs counter to societal expectations for American business, it runs afoul of the laws of the United States. The alleged unjust enrichment comes at the expense of those who play by the rules in the market place," he said.
FedEx Ground operates approximately 39 hubs or distribution centers to move packages around the country. One of the hubs is located in North Salt Lake City in Utah. The company contracts with local trucking companies to transport packages on behalf of the company, the U.S. attorney's office in Utah said.
The company is disappointed by the "egregious" actions and is cooperating with authorities, FedEx Ground spokeswoman Meredith Miller said in a statement.
"FedEx Ground does not tolerate illegal activity. We expect all employees and service providers to act with the highest ethical standards and we take very seriously this deliberate evasion of the company’s compliance programs," the statement said.
Most of the payments cited by prosecutors were for work that was actually performed and the financial loss for FedEx Ground was only was a "small fraction" of what is outlined in the indictment, Miller said.
The nine others have either been arrested or warrants have been issued for their arrest, the U.S. attorney's office in Utah said.
The maximum penalty for wire fraud, wire fraud conspiracy promotional money laundering and concealment of money laundering is 20 years in prison. Money laundering carries a sentence up to 10 years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.