A release from the U.S. attorney in Newark, N.J., says Shirley Sooy, 63,  currently a Fort Smith resident, has surrendered on fraud charges in an alleged multi-million-dollar Ponzi scheme built on her company Trans Vantage Group’s work auditing and billing for common carriers and freight-forwarding companies. Her companies paid audited freight bills. But she allegedly commingled and misused the funds, including for payroll and expenses of her companies. The companies lost $42 million, the government said. From a government release:

The money also subsidized millions of dollars in personal expenses, including mortgage payments for personal properties owned by Sooy and others in Bloomsbury, N.J.; Phillipsburg, N.J.; Waretown, N.J.; and Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; a 48-foot yacht purchased by Sooy with  others; a $135,000 Maserati automobile purchased by a conspirator; payments for personal credit card charges incurred by Sooy and her family members; and payments for remodeling Sooy’s  home.

The Justice Department doesn’t mention Arkansas connections beyond Sooy’s current residence.


The freight payment company filed for bankruptcy last year. The company’s “money float,” as it was described here, was a  practice of some 20 years.