MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A jury has found a former Starkey Hearing Technologies executive and a business associate guilty of stealing more than $15 million from the company.
The United States Attorney’s office says former president Jerry Ruzicka and Jeffrey Taylor, president of Starkey customer Sonion, were found guilty Thursday in a federal court.
Starkey CEO Bill Austin fired Ruzicka in September of 2015, and he was indicted in June of 2016.
The lawsuit alleged the men, along with other former Starkey executives and associates, stole millions from the Eden Prairie-based company for more than a decade through a variety of schemes, including sham companies.
Former Starkey Human Resources Officer Larry Miller and business associate Larry Hagen were acquitted by the same jury Thursday for their alleged roles in the scheme.
A Starkey spokesperson released this statement Thursday afternoon:
Today’s verdict, along with two earlier guilty pleas, affirms that our company was victimized over a period of years and that millions of dollars were stolen.
We’re grateful to the jury and to the U.S Attorney’s office, and to the FBI, IRS, and Postal Inspector case agents for their efforts in presenting and evaluating a very complex and convoluted web of deception.
This decision closes a chapter in our history and lets us focus the entirety of our attention on our employees and the company’s future, on the customers we serve around the world and on their patients who depend on us for better hearing.