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Celadon shuts down, leaving thousands without jobs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday, one of the 5,000 trucks operated by Celadon and driven by a veteran of the company slowly made its way back to the garage, with no plans for tomorrow.

The driver shouted to a News 8 crew on his way to uncertain future.

“If I keep driving, I’m not making any money. I got family to take care of,” said the unidentified driver.

Over the weekend, word leaked that the company was filing for bankruptcy. Some of the 2,500 drivers came back right away, while others, including Arcadio Caraballo, hoped the rumors were not true.

“Three days ago, they got rid of some lease operators drivers because they had a third party leasing trucks to them, and that pretty much gave you an idea of what was going to happen. And then yesterday, all — broke loose,” said Caraballo.

The company owes millions to creditors and is struggling to meet its $13 million monthly payroll. According to the initial bankruptcy filings, the company employs more than 3,800 people, 2,500 of those truck drivers.

Celadon’s financial trouble first came to light two years ago, when company executives were accused of cooking the books and misleading shareholders.

 At the time, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said, “Celadon executives misled the investing public for a simple reason: profit.”

Celadon reached a deal this past spring with federal authorities to repay $42 million for the federal investigation. They still owe $33 million.

“It is really not Celadon’s fault, as far as I know they treated every one of us well, right up to the last minute. It is really not Celadon’s fault (that) there were a couple of bad apples a couple years ago,” said Caraballo.

News 8 has been told about 500 administrative employees work at the company’s Indianapolis headquarters, a few of which will stay on to shut the company down.