Adviser Gets 4 Years for Looting Company Retirement Fun
October 9, 1998
Mr. Moore, 56, did not address the court. His lawyer asked for leniency, noting that the consultant had not only pleaded guilty but had also sold his condominium in East Windsor and handed over the $30,000 in proceeds to begin repaying the money he owes the fund.
Mr. Moore, who also owns a home in West Palm Beach, Fla., admitted that he stole at least $1.5 million from the Emergi-Lite fund during a 10-year period. He submitted bogus quarterly financial reports to the company and the 100 employees who were paying into the fund.
After his theft was discovered, Mr. Moore admitted using the embezzled funds to pay for country club memberships, jewelry, golf vacations and his failing consulting business. "He should be sentenced as if he had robbed a bank, and he should be put in a regular prison, not a white-collar jail," said Patricia Dammeyer , of Westbrook, one of 10 former Emergi-Lite employees who urged Judge Robert Chatigny of - Federal District Court to impose a stiff sentence. "This man stole my faith in human beings," she said.
Judge Chatigny ordered Mr. Moore to surrender to Federal marshals on Nov. 6 to begin serving his sentence. The judge said he would recommend that the defendant, who recently underwent heart bypass surgery, be sent to a minimum security prison in or near Florida.
Emergi-Lite employees were told in September 1997 that the plant, which makes highway emergency signs and exit lights, would be moving to South Carolina because of restructuring. Then, several days after Christmas, Mr. Moore notified the company that its retirement fund had been nearly wiped out by a series of bad investments and that only $150,000 remained.
Because so much money and so many victims were involved prosecutors asked the judge to go the maximum 37 months set by the Federal sentencing guidelines. The judge agreed. "This is an extraordinary case," Judge Chatigny said. "The defendant must have known he was taking their nest eggs."
Mr. Moore, who has been free on $50,000 bond, pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement and one count of making false statements. He also agreed to sell his homes and to begin repaying the more than $1 million he still owes the fund.
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