The former president of Starkey Laboratories and a business associate both report to federal prison Monday more than a year after they were convicted of defrauding the Eden Prairie-based hearing aid company.
Jerry Ruzicka, who worked at Starkey for 38 years until fired as president in 2015, was convicted in March 2018 of defrauding Starkey out of millions of dollars via schemes involving stolen stock, fake companies, and commissions and fees to which he was not entitled. He was sentenced in December 2018 to seven years in prison.
His business associate— W. Jeff Taylor, former president of Starkey supplier Sonion — also is set to report to federal prison authorities.
Ruzicka, who is appealing his conviction, was originally scheduled to surrender to prison on March 11, but the date was postponed several times. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has not publicly disclosed where Ruzicka will serve his time.
However, U.S. District Court Judge John Tunheim recommended Ruzicka and Taylor be assigned to their preferred facility, the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth.
Starkey’s former chief financial officer, Scott A. Nelson, already is serving a two-year sentence for conspiracy in Duluth. Nelson pleaded guilty and testified during the 2018 criminal trial against Ruzicka. Nelson admitted that he falsified company financial reports and at least one tax filing.
Taylor was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his part defrauding Starkey and Sonion out of roughly $338,000 in fake commissions and fees.