Steamboat Springs Woman Convicted after Stealing from Profit Sharing Plan
GRAND JUNCTION – A federal jury sitting in Grand Junction found Anita Harmon, age 62, of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, guilty of two counts of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan, announced United States Attorney Jason Dunn and U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Jim Purcell. The jury returned its verdict on May 10, 2019, before United States District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson. Harmon was acquitted of two other counts.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Anita Harmon was the trustee for an ERISA plan called the Healthcare Financial Assistance Corporation Profit Sharing Plan. The company that sponsored the plan went out of business and, in September 2012, Harmon transferred the plan assets from one bank account to another to which she had access and to accounts in the name of limited liability corporations controlled by her. Thereafter, Harmon depleted the plan account through periodic transfers into her other accounts until, in November 2014, she emptied it out entirely. From the other accounts, she wrote checks for rent, taxes, and other items unconnected to plan administration. Altogether, she took over $24,000 from the plan.
“Theft from employee plans like this hurts real people,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “We prosecute these cases to make sure that the employees who were cheated receive justice.”
“Theft from retirement plans and pensions has significant adverse effects on the livelihood and peace of mind of workers,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Jim Purcell, in Kansas City. “Our Department takes these actions seriously and will continue to investigate any action that threatens retirement benefits workers have earned.”
For the counts of conviction in this matter, the defendant may be sentenced to not more than five years imprisonment, not more than a $250,000 fine, followed by not more than three years supervised release. Sentencing is set for August 6, 2019.
This matter was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration. The defendant was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Burrows and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Chaffin.
Case No. 18-cr-270
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