Polar’s new management helps firm move on from fraud case

Photo: Carlos Yudica/ Shutterstock

Polar Air Cargo has moved forward with a robust company culture one year on from the announcement of a major fraud case.

Speaking to Air Cargo News at the CNS Partnerships Conference in Dallas, Kersti Krepp, senior vice president and chief commercial officer at Polar Air Cargo said that the business has moved on with an entirely different management team in place.

“From that point our team has definitely moved forward and we have the right people in place. And I would say the tone at the top has never been stronger in terms of focus on doing the right things all the time.”

In April 2023, 10 people were charged with defrauding Polar Air Cargo during a period that is estimated to have spanned at least in or about 2009 through to about July 2021.

The charges were based on allegations that these 10 defendants were involved in a fraud scheme that resulted in the company losing an estimated $52m and impacted nearly all operations.

Some of them were Polar executives, others were vendors with business relationships with Polar.

Krepp stressed: “As soon as the situation was identified we immediately took action, we immediately reported it and we went to the proper authorities.”

The US Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York has issued a number of press releases providing legal updates on those charged with defrauding Polar, 51% owned by Atlas Air Worldwide and 49% owned by DHL Express.

Former Polar Air Cargo executive Robert Schirmer pled guilty in October 2023 to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. 

Then in January this year, Carlton Llewellyn pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. The former vice president of operations, system performance, and quality was the sixth defendant to plead guilty in the case.

Alongside Llewellyn and Schirmer there are two other co-defendants that were senior executives of Polar. There are also six co-defendants that owned and operated various Polar vendors and customers.

10 people charged with defrauding Polar Air Cargo Worldwide

Ex Polar Air Cargo executive pleads guilty to fraud

Another ex Polar executive pleads guilty to fraud

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]