SALT LAKE CITY — A federal jury has convicted two owners of a Salt Lake City trucking conglomerate of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, the defendants owned a group of trucking companies named Salt Lake Trucking Group (SLTG).
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the defendants and their coconspirators paid more than $300,000 in bribes to FedEx Ground employees, which resulted in SLTG receiving $108 million from FedEx over a 10-year period.
At the time of the conspiracy, the defendants, Yevgeny Felix Tuchinsky, 63, of Salt Lake County, was a resident of San Diego, California, and Konstantin Mikhaylovich Tomilin, 54, also of Salt Lake County, was a resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Tuchinsky and Tomilin owned and operated several trucking companies consolidated under SLTG.
At trial, the jury was presented with evidence that FedEx contracts with local trucking companies to haul FedEx packages in semi-trucks.
FedEx refers to these companies as contract service providers (CSPs).
FedEx pays the CSPs by the mile. The defendants’ companies were among those local CSPs that picked up and delivered FedEx semi-trailers full of packages at the FedEx Ground Hub in North Salt Lake. The CSPs provided the semi-truck and driver that hauled the trailers to FedEx hubs and other facilities where the packages were eventually sorted for local delivery.
Beginning around 2009 and continuing to 2019, the defendants bribed FedEx employees in exchange for those employees providing more business to SLTG, according to the news release.
Instead of competing fairly against other CSPs for FedEx business, SLTG bribed FedEx employees to obtain more miles and more money from FedEx. The bribes resulted in SLTG obtaining unearned FedEx business for more than a decade.
Authorities said the defendants and their coconspirators “also engaged in deceptive practices to conceal from FedEx that they were violating several FedEx policies and contractual provisions. And they bribed FedEx employees to help deceive FedEx and cover up their violations.”
“These deceptive practices included creating shell companies and lying to FedEx about the true ownership of the companies,” according to the news release. “This concealed from FedEx that SLTG owned and operated the shell companies and that the shell companies shared the same owners, assets, trucks, and employees. The defendants and their coconspirators also lied to FedEx about dozens of SLTG drivers’ qualifications on FedEx applications.”
Further, the news release states, “the defendants and their coconspirators failed to honestly report accidents to FedEx. As established at trial, had FedEx known about SLTG’s bribery, true size, ownership, false driver applications and accidents, FedEx would have terminated SLTG and its subsidiaries as CSPs.”
The defendants’ bribery and lies resulting in SLTG receiving $108 million from FedEx, according to court documents.
Tuchinsky personally gained $7 million and Tomilin personally gained over $4 million from the scheme.
“Before they delivered packages, these men and their teammates delivered cash bribes,” Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Dent said during trial. “Before their trucks pulled away from the hub to go on a run, they lied and they bribed to even get that run. $108 million by cheating.”
Tuchinsky’s and Tomilin’s sentencing is scheduled for May 20, 2024, before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Robert J. Shelby at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.