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Press Release

CEO of Corporation Based in Shasta County Indicted for Retirement Fund Embezzlement and False Statements

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment today against Maurice “Buddy” Shoe, 57, formerly of Palo Cedro, charging him with embezzlement from his employees’ retirement funds and false statements regarding those retirement funds, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Shoe was the founder and CEO of Joined Inc., a corporation formerly based in Shasta County that provided student recruiting and retention services to Christian colleges and universities throughout the United States. The company provided a 401(k) retirement benefit plan for its employees. From February through November 2015, Shoe embezzled approximately $122,832 from the employee retirement benefit fund, protected under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), by withholding funds from employees’ paychecks for 401(k) contributions, but failing to forward those contributions to the 401(k) plan. Shoe also made false statements on a form required under ERISA as to whether there had been a failure to forward participant contributions during the 2015 plan year.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration, San Francisco Regional Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shea J. Kenny is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Shoe faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine as to each count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 20, 2019

Financial Fraud
Labor & Employment
Press Release Number: 2:19-cr-238 MCE