The operator of a Golden Valley lighting fixtures company has been charged with stealing more than $750,000 from his employees' pension plans for roughly 2½ years and using some of that money for upper-class comforts and other personal expenses.
Wallace D. Gregerson, president and sole owner of Lighting Affiliates Inc., was indicted last week in federal court in Minneapolis on six counts of mail fraud, two counts of money laundering and one count of theft and embezzlement from an employee plan.
Gregerson used most of the money to pay country club membership dues, buy tickets to sports events, meet youth sports sponsorship obligations, buy men's clothing, cover tuition payments for his daughter and cover company expenses, according to prosecutors.
Gregerson, 65, of Plymouth, remains free on an unsecured bond of $25,000. Messages were left Monday with his attorney seeking comment.
According to the U.S. attorney's office, Gregerson directed and provided employees with a 401(k) plan that was funded by employees, matching employer contributions and profit-sharing.
From February 2011 to July 2013, he drained the profit-sharing portion of more than $675,000 and skimmed nearly $81,000 from his former employees' individual 401(k) accounts.
Gregerson allegedly duped the financial institutions holding the plans' assets — U.S. Bancorp, Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo — to provide him with the money by pledging that he was reinvesting in another qualified plan or that the withdrawals were at the employee's request.