On April 12, 2018, a federal grand jury in Tennessee indicted John Sherman Jumper, a former securities broker, on charges relating to an alleged $5.7 million fraud scam targeting the pension funds of a brick manufacturing company located in Pennsylvania. The indictment came following an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other agencies.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice:
“[T]he indictment alleges that Jumper, a securities broker based in Memphis, Tennessee, forged signatures on fraudulent documents that purportedly authorized him to transfer funds from the pension plan on three separate occasions. . . The [pension plan] included about 129 active and retired employees. At the time the alleged $5.7 million embezzlement began, the pension plan assets were worth approximately $9.8 million.”
A Complaint filed by the SEC indicates that Jumper used the fraudulently-obtained funds for “personal expenses and investments” as well as for the benefit of various companies that he owned personally. Jumper allegedly gained access to the pension account by arranging the sale of the brick manufacturing company and then forging the buyer’s signature on various documents which purported to give him authority and control over the account.
What to Do if You Suspect Pension Fraud
If the allegations in this case are true, it appears that Jumper went to great lengths to embezzle funds from the company’s pension plan. But, not all cases of pension fraud are so sophisticated or complex. When companies do not have adequate controls in place to prevent unauthorized access, employees’ pension funds can face threats from a variety of different sources. If you are concerned that your pension fund may have been targeted in a fraud scam, you should:
- Notify your employer promptly. Tell your supervisor or human resources (HR) representative about your concerns, and ask them to escalate your concerns through the appropriate channels.
- Learn more about pension fraud. Most pension fraud cases involve violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). You can learn more in our ERISA Resource Center.
- Keep all relevant documentation. Make sure you have copies of your recent account statements, and try to locate any other documentation you have pertaining to your pension.
- Speak with a financial fraud lawyer. If your pension has been targeted in a fraud scam, hiring an experienced financial fraud lawyer will give you the best chance to recover your losses. At Zamansky, LLC, we offer free initial consultations, and we can arrange for you to speak with one of our lawyers as soon as possible.
Do You Have Concerns About Your Pension? Call or Click for a Free Consultation
If you are concerned that your retirement plan may be at risk, we strongly encourage you to seek legal representation right away. If you would like to speak with one of our financial fraud lawyers about your situation, please call (646) 633-5628 or request a free consultation online now.