76-Year-Old Texas Scammer Who Ran Ponzi Scheme While Awaiting Trial In Earlier Fraud Case Sentenced To 10 Years In Federal Prison
Hague-Rogers operated Dallas-based HR Financial Services and HR Sales and Marketing, both of which were in the insurance business, prosecutors said. In February 2011, he was indicted on charges of directing “money transfers and cash withdrawals from and between himself and the benefit plan for his and his family’s personal benefit,” prosecutors said.
He also “directed the preparation of documents purportedly legitimizing the transfers of such funds,” prosecutors said.
While Hague-Rogers was on pretrial release two months after his indictment, investigators discovered he had hatched a Ponzi scheme in which “unauthorized loans” were taken against employer-sponsored health plans, prosecutors said.
The money in the follow-up scam was used “to repay investors holding promissory notes with interest as high as 15%,” prosecutors said. “[Hague-Rogers] 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.”
By April 18, 2011, the government had gained an asset freeze against Hague-Rogers. Three months later — in July 2011 — a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment that charged him with wire fraud and healthcare fraud. In April 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft or embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay now has sentenced Hague-Rogers to 10 years in federal prison and to forfeit more than $9.3 million.
“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, director of the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Dallas Regional Office.
The criminal case was brought by prosecutors in the office of 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 Saldaña.