Seven year prison sentence for former Starkey president


© Marilyn Nieves/

A federal judge has handed a seven-year prison sentence to Jerome Ruzicka, who was convicted by a jury in March this year of embezzling over $15 million dollars from his former company, the hearing aid giant Starkey Laboratories.

Ruzicka had been convicted on four counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one of tax fraud. The sentence is far lower than the 15 years prosecutors had demanded, but the 62-year-old defendant was also given one-year of supervised release and a restitution order.

Sentences are also due to be passed this week on co-defendants W. Jeffrey Taylor, 57, Jeffery Longtain, 59, and Scott A. Nelson, 60. These federal court sessions will just about bring to an end a bitter story that includes a long FBI investigation and a messy two-year legal wrangle.

Speaking after the December 19 decision, stated: "It is unfortunate that Ruzicka misused his position of trust over a period of years to steal millions from a company that does so much to give the gift of hearing to so many people in need."

Thomas Ting, General Counsel for Starkey Hearing Technologies declared: "With the sentencing today and others to come, we are thankful to be nearing the conclusion of this matter. We are continuing to focus on the bright future of our business."

Source: Fox 9 Minneapolis