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Dallas Businessman Sentenced To 120 Months In Federal Prison For His Role In Conspiracies To Steal Pension Plans And Commit Health Care Fraud
Defendant Also Ordered to Forfeit Approximately $9.3 Million
DALLAS — Robert Hague-Rogers, 76, of Frisco, Texas, was sentenced yesterday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 120 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $9,345,775, following his guilty plea in April 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Hague-Rogers has been in custody since his pre-trial release was revoked by the Court on September 4, 2012. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
“This sentence should serve as an example of the consequences one will pay when people abuse the trust that has been placed in them and embezzle funds entrusted to their care,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña.
“Theft of employee benefit plan assets jeopardizes the security of America’s workers. I hope that this sentencing sends a clear message to all who hold an office of trust, or operate or administer employee benefit plans, that the Department of Labor is committed to vigorously pursuing those who abuse their positions and use trust funds for personal gain,” said Mark Alder, Regional Director of EBSA’s Dallas Regional Office.
According to documents filed in the case, from January 2001 through April 2011, Hague-Rogers was the sole owner and operator of HR Financial Services and HR Sales and Marketing, located on Coit Road in Dallas; the primary business of both was the sale and marketing of insurance products.
In February 2011, a federal grand jury indicted Hague-Rogers based on his theft of funds from an ERISA-backed welfare benefit fund. As the trustee for the plan, the government alleged that Hague-Rogers directed money transfers and cash withdrawals from and between himself and the plan for his and his family s personal benefit, as well as directed the preparation of documents purportedly legitimizing the transfers of such funds.
A few months later, in April 2011, the government learned that while on pre-trial release, Hague-Rogers was operating a Ponzi scheme by making unauthorized loans against certain employer-sponsored health plans to repay investors holding promissory notes with interest as high as 15%. He would then move funds between the various plans and investors’ accounts, while paying himself and his family for personal expenses such as mortgages, life insurance policies and property taxes. On April 18, 2011, the government obtained an injunction preventing Hague-Rogers and his companies from the further commission of any crimes, barring him from the sale of insurance and related products and freezing all assets and property owned by Hague-Rogers or his family. Based on his post-indictment conduct, on July 19, 2011, a federal grand jury in Dallas returned a superseding indictment against Hague-Rogers, charging him with various counts of health care and wire fraud based on his theft from the various employer-sponsored health plans.
According to the factual resume filed in the case, Hague-Rogers admitted that he executed both conspiracies by creating numerous single employer trusts to provide individuals with whole life insurance, death benefits and other post-retirement medical benefits. Hague-Rogers and others, without the knowledge and/or consent of the trusts, caused fraudulent and unauthorized loans to be made against the whole-life policies. He and his immediate family used the funds for personal expenses including leases of luxury vehicles, house payments and taxes, and private life insurance policies.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean McKenna and Errin Martin were in charge of the prosecution.