Judge Grants Two Convicted in Starkey Fraud Case Second Prison Delay


The convicted former president of Starkey Laboratories and his convicted associate received yet another extension on the date they must report for their prison sentences.

The Star Tribune reports former Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka and former Sonion president W. Jeff Taylor — both convicted of fraud a year ago for their role embezzling funds from Starkey and supplier Sonion — were originally supposed to surrender to prison March 11. They received an extension until April 22.

Now they have received a second extension to June 3, six months after they were sentenced, according to a court order filed Friday by U.S. District Chief Judge John Tunheim. It was not immediately clear why the extensions were requested or granted. Some of the documents to the court case are now sealed.

Ruzicka’s attorney, John Conard, said Monday the court is dealing with the issues that are sealed. He would not elaborate on the issues.

Ruzicka was convicted by a jury in March 2018 and sentenced in December to seven years in prison for his role defrauding Starkey Laboratories and its supplier Sonion of $18.9 million.

Co-defendant Taylor was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his role stealing about $338,000 from Sonion and Starkey, the Eden Prairie-based hearing aid manufacturer.


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