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Press Release

Four Defendants Sentenced For Roles In Fraud Scheme Against Starkey Laboratories

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

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencings of W. Jeffery Taylor, 57, Scott A. Nelson, 60, and Jeffery Longtain, 59, for their roles in the fraud scheme perpetrated against Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Starkey) and its principal owner William F. Austin. Taylor was sentenced to 18 months of prison, Nelson was sentenced to 24 months of prison, and Longtain was sentenced to one year of probation. The defendants were sentenced today in United States District Court by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim. Jerome Ruzicka, 62, was sentenced on December 19, 2018 to 84 months of federal prison, by Chief Judge Tunheim.   

“The sentencings today are a testament to the remarkable skill, dedication, and professionalism of our law enforcement partners,” said United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald. “I am thankful for their unrelenting pursuit of justice during this investigation and trial.”

Taylor was convicted on March 3, 2018, following a nearly 8-week trial presided over by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim. Longtain pleaded guilty on April 20, 2017, to a criminal information charging him with one count of making and subscribing a false return. Nelson pleaded guilty on December 19, 2017, to a criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant United States Attorneys Benjamin Langner and Surya Saxena, and former Assistant United States Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:


Jerome C. Ruzicka, 61

Plymouth, Minn.



  • Mail fraud, 4 counts
  • Wire fraud, 3 counts
  • Tax fraud, 1 count


  • 84 months imprisonment
  • 1 year supervised release
  • Court will issue a restitution order


W. Jeffery Taylor, 57

Cologne, Minn.


  • Mail fraud, 1 count
  • Wire fraud, 2 counts


  • 18 months imprisonment
  • 2 years supervised release


Scott A. Nelson, 60

Prior Lake, Minn.


  • Conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, 1 count


  • 24 months imprisonment
  • 1 year supervised release


Jeffrey Lee Longtain, 58

West Linn, Ore.


  • Marking and Subscribing a False Return, 1 count


  • One year of probation





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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600


Updated December 21, 2018

Financial Fraud