According to an article in the Friday, March 3 edition of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jeffrey Longtain, the former COO of Starkey affliliate Northland Hearing Centers in Clackamas, Ore, has been charged with not reporting $105,600 from 2010-2015 which he received in the form of personal golf memberships paid by Starkey suppliers Audiometrix LLC and Socio LLC, two firms that have the same Las Vegas address in online searches. The charges also allege that Longtain arranged to receive $115,000 from Starkey to cover tax liabilities in what the government alleges was a fraudulent deal involving Northland restricted stock worth $15 million. Legal experts interviewed in the story say that it appears Longtain may have a plea agreement and is cooperating with authorities on the investigation. Click here to see the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
As reported in January at HearingReview.com, a superseding indictment added four new charges of under-reporting income on tax returns by former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka and CFO Scott Nelson for tax returns filed in 2010 and 2014. Those charges came on the heels of a highly public and ongoing legal dispute. Both Ruzicka and Nelson have been charged with fraud and embezzlement following the September 2015 firing of four top executives at Starkey. This ultimately led to the indictment of five prominent hearing industry executives who allegedly conspired to steal more than $20 million from Starkey Hearing Technologies and its principal owner William (Bill) F. Austin, and from Northland Hearing. All five defendants have pleaded not guilty, maintaining that Austin knew about and benefitted from the transactions.