Reno Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Stealing from Pension Plan
Reno, Nev. – The owner of a Reno-based technology firm has been sentenced to a year in prison for embezzling over $100,000 from the company's 401(k) retirement plan, announced Greg. Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Following a five-hour sentencing hearing on Friday, October 24, 2008, Steven H. Urie, 64, owner of Lodging and Gaming System, Inc., was sentenced to one year plus one day in federal prison and three years of supervised release. He was convicted by a jury in June of one count of Theft From Employee Benefit Plan for embezzling approximately $128,000 from the company's retirement plan and converting the monies to his own use.
"Employee 401(k) profit sharing plans are established and maintained as employee pension benefit plans and are subject to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "As this case shows, it is a federal crime for employers to embezzle money from these plans, and employers who do so may be prosecuted."
Evidence presented at trial indicated that Urie embezzled the monies willfully and knew that it was unlawful. Urie had previously taken money from the employee pension plan in the late 1990s, and the matter was handled civilly by the Department of Labor.
"We will aggressively investigate theft or fraud against employee benefit plans," said Bradford P. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration. "Today's sentencing sends a clear message that theft of benefit plan assets is a serious crime punishable to the full extent of the law."
Urie was permitted to self-report to federal prison by November 24, 2008.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Bill Reed and Ron Rachow.