North Texas couple sentenced to greater than 18 years in jail for embezzling their pension scheme

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In total, the couple admitted to filing more than 90 unauthorized distribution requests of 13 pension plans and seven pension plans from 2014 and 2017.

According to Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. attorney for the Northern Texas area, a married couple from Northern Texas were sentenced to more than 18 years in federal prison for their roles in a $ 15 million retirement plan embezzlement scheme.

Wendy Richie, 59, and her husband Jeffrey Richie, 55, live in Red Oak, Texas, about 20 minutes south of downtown Dallas. The two are co-owners of Vantage Benefits Administrators.

Wendy pleaded guilty in June of two cases of theft from an employee benefit plan and one case of aggravated identity theft.

She was sentenced to 132 months in prison on Thursday and sentenced to $ 12.6 million restitution. Jeffrey pleaded guilty to assisting two cases of assisted theft of an employee benefit plan. He was sentenced to 87 months in prison and sentenced to a $ 7.4 million refund.

“These defendants lined their pockets at the expense of hardworking Americans who are saving for retirement,” said Cox.

RELATED: The Red Oaks plead guilty to embezzling $ 15 million from retirement plans they administered

Richie’s company acted as the third party administrator for dozens of retirement and retirement funds.

According to Plea Papers, Wendy admitted using the fund recipients ‘personal information to submit fraudulent distribution requests of $ 15.2 million to Matrix Trust, the funds’ custodian.

Instead of depositing the money in the beneficiaries’ accounts, she transferred it to Vantage’s operating account and then to personal bank accounts.

After a Vantage employee confronted the Richies about their behavior, Wendy continued to embezzle money from the funds.

At least $ 6.2 million of the $ 15.2 million that Wendy had embezzled was taken with Jeffrey’s knowledge, he admitted.

In total, the couple admitted to filing more than 90 unauthorized distribution requests of 13 pension plans and seven pension plans from 2014 and 2017.

“The Northern District of Texas is committed to seeking justice for vulnerable retirees and workers who are putting money aside for their golden years and beyond. We pride ourselves on holding the richies accountable for this brazen wrongdoing,” said Cox.

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