• February 18, 2020

SanJan CEO blames closure on embezzlement - Odessa American: News

e-Edition Subscribe

SanJan CEO blames closure on embezzlement

Trucking company seeks audit, workers stunned

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 7:21 pm

An Odessa-based oilfield trucking company abruptly shut its doors amid claims from the CEO that embezzlement by another top executive left the company “in shambles.”

The company of about 400 employees has six field locations, all in West Texas. And several people identifying themselves as employees of SanJan tell of layoffs and say they await paychecks.

CEO Clint Fletcher offered few details about the alleged theft during an interview with CBS-7. He did not confirm reports of layoffs and said SanJan leaders are working “to make sure that we save the company and do the right thing by everybody attached with it and make sure that we take care of everyone.”

He also said “payroll has been made to date.”

Fletcher said an executive who handled finances “misappropriated a number of things” before other company officials and a lender discovered the “foul play” within the past six weeks. Fletcher declined to specify how much money was taken or to identify the employee by name.

“We made it through the downturn, and then with the uptick, whenever it came back, he misappropriated a number of things,” Fletcher told the news station. “And by the time we were able to look up, the company itself, when the stockholders started looking at it, the company itself was really in shambles and in bad shape.”

Fletcher said the employee resigned and was the only person inside the organization who was involved in the wrongdoing. A former employee who once worked in the specific position he cited could not be reached for comment.

Fletcher declined an interview with the Odessa American at his office, citing the advice of his attorney, who did not respond to a request for comment.

He told CBS-7 that SanJan officials have not reported a crime to law enforcement yet.

Meanwhile, Fletcher said the company has hired a “forensic accounting team” to address what he described as “major holes in accounting” and misallocated funds.

“The police are not involved yet,” Fletcher said. “We are going to let the forensic accounting complete their due diligence and after that we will get with the authorities and make proper arrangements.”

Fletcher said the company has not filed for bankruptcy. 

The closures were “just for the equipment and just to make sure that they were maintained and all the assets were taken care of,” Fletcher said. “But as far as anything being shut, we are still in the process of billing and we haven’t made any declarations of anything with the banks or the creditors or anything like that.”

Among the affected workers by the closures was Freddy DeHoyos, a 25-year-old vacuum truck driver, who said he was told to leave the Fort Stockton yard on Monday with little explanation from his supervisors.

“They just told us we weren’t getting paid on Friday when our paycheck was to come in,” DeHoyos said. “And then on Monday they told us we were laid off.”

About 20 truck drivers worked at that yard, DeHoyos said. Many like him lived out of town and stayed in an RV on site during the weeks they were scheduled to work, DeHoyos said.

On Friday, he expected a paycheck of about $3,000. But he said supervisors said the paychecks would be ready on Monday instead.

“Then our supervisor showed up and said there is no work,” DeHoyos said, adding that drivers were stunned because demand had been growing during the oilfield recovery. “Something really weird happened. They had work.”

Without his paycheck, DeHoyos said he did not have enough money to travel back to his family in Lubbock.

“I had to call my brother in law to send me $60 just so I could get back to Lubbock because I had no money to travel home,” DeHoyos said. “I’ve got three kids and one on the way. It’s kind of hard.”

Fletcher said taking care of employees is a top priority and might be able to move displaced workers to other companies he owns stakes in.

Willie Taylor, the CEO of Permian Basin Workforce Solutions, said he had heard from “several folks” about SanJan layoffs but had not received a formal notice that employers anticipating mass layoffs send in certain circumstances to the state.

“We haven’t received notice, but the company definitely, in my understanding, is closing down,” Taylor said. Taylor added he did not know if the company was completely shutting down or selling after halting the trucking operations.

SanJan leaders hope to find someone to “partner with us in some of the things that we have going on and take care of our employees,” Fletcher said. “If not, we’ve reached out to some guys that are competitors, friendly competitors, to help put them in a role."

Fletcher also told CBS-7 that “Payroll has been made to date, but we are not sure really what lies ahead for the next couple weeks. He’s put us in a really tough spot, and we are just trying to find the right answers and to fight our way out of it.”

SanJan was founded in 2005 as a “small family run business,” said Fletcher, who is among the founders and an owner. He said shareholders of the privately-held company sold it before buying it back in 2014.

The executive who he says embezzled was hired afterwards.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal featured Fletcher as one of the small-business owners suffering the consequences of an oil bust. He owned stakes in nearly-two dozen business in the area, the paper reported. But the company transporting water from the oilfield proved resilient.

Now, Fletcher says the loss to SanJan is “devastating.” He said he has “injected millions of dollars into the company.”

“From the front office to the field, we love our people,” Fletcher said. “And so it’s very hurtful when one person’s actions can disrupt something that’s such a vital part of our lives and means so much to us not just on a business level, but on a personal level.”

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Cloudy/Wind
44°
Humidity: 65%
Winds: NE at 23mph
Feels Like: 35°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 49°/Low 35°
Cloudy. Highs in the upper 40s and lows in the mid 30s.

wednesday

weather
High 43°/Low 38°
Afternoon showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the upper 30s.

thursday

weather
High 41°/Low 30°
Windy with morning showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.