Law & Justice

Branchburg-Based Company Owner Allegedly Operated Multimillion Dollar Ponzi Scheme

BRANCHBURG, NJ - The United States Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that the owner of a group of freight payment, logistics and shipping businesses, all headquartered in Branchburg, is facing charges that she operated a multimillion dollar Ponzi scheme.

Shirley Sooy, 63, of Arkansas, surrendered herself in Newark to inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a release. She surrendered herself on a criminal complaint charging her with wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and transacting in criminal proceeds.

Sooy was scheduled for an initial appearance and bail hearing Wednesday in Newark federal court, the release said.

Sign Up for E-News

The fraud charges, the release said, each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. The counts of transacting in criminal proceeds each carry a maximum potential penality of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to the release, from 2003 through April 2013, Sooy entered contracts with corporate clients through a collection of businesses that operated under the umbrella of "TransVantage Group." The company, the release said, audited freight bills that were generated by common carriers and freight forwarders that had been hired by those corprate clients referred to in the unsealed complaint against Sooy as "victim companies."

From there, the release said, TransVantage was supposed to pay the audited and approved freight bills to the carriers from funds provided by those victim companies, and then the funds were to be held in trust by TransVantage until it was paid to the carriers. In addition to that money, the release said, the victim companies paid TransVantage for its auditing services.

According to the release and complaint, Sooy was allegedly operating TransVantage as a Ponzi scheme, causing more than $42 million in losses to the victim companies. Sooy allegedly comingled the funds from those victim companies into two accounts and then misused them, paying prior unpaid carrier bills of certain companies by using funds from other unrelated companies.

Then, the release said, Sooy and others allegedly funded TransVantage's payroll obligations and those of other subsidiaries.

In addition, the release said, Sooy and others allegedly subsidized millions of dollars in personal expense, such as mortgage payments for personal properties, a 48-foot yacht, a $135,000 Maserati automobile, payments for personal credit card charges and payments for home remodeling.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Tue, December 6, 7:00 PM

Bridgewater Township Library, Bridgewater

Survivors of Suicide Loss Bereavement/Support ...


Wed, December 7, 9:30 AM

Duke Island Park Visitor's Center, Bridgewater

Duke Island Park Walking Group

Health & Wellness

Wed, December 7, 9:30 AM

Duke Island Park Visitor's Center, Bridgewater

Duke Island Park Weekly Walking Group

Health & Wellness

Bridgewater Man Arrested for Criminal Mischief Following Motor Vehicle Accident, According to Bridgewater Police Report

December 2, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Bridgewater man was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and underage drinking after being involved in a motor vehicle accident on Washington Valley Road Nov. 24, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Sergio Mora, 20, was charged with criminal complaints for criminal mischief, hindering his own apprehension and underage consumption of alcohol. He was ...

Somerset Patriots Name Marc Schwartz As Radio Broadcaster

December 5, 2016

BRIDGEWATER, NJ- The Somerset Patriots have announced that Marc Schwartz has been named the radio broadcaster for the 2017 season.

Schwartz was hired as the Somerset Patriots’ Media Relations Manager in November of 2014 and will also continue in that role with the team throughout the year.

"I am beyond excited to begin the next stage of my career as the Somerset Patriots' new ...

Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 25th Anniversary

December 5, 2016

SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - The Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity, which serves Somerset and Hunterdon counties, celebrated its 25th anniversary and its 50th home at its Dream Builders Gala.

The fundraising event was a night of excitement and gratitude when founders, homeowners, staff, board members, volunteer work crews and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the ...

‘Daddy Long Legs’ Delights at George Street Playhouse

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – If you love a love story, the enchanting musical “Daddy Long Legs” will speak to your heart.

Yes, there are plenty of clichés when it comes to love, but this musical has a freshness and intimacy that are hard to beat. With music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and book by John Caird, the play is based on Jean Webster’s novel.

All the songs are ...