A former CEO of an Oregon-based senior housing development and management company is facing up to a 15-year prison sentence this week in the conclusion of the state’s largest fraud case ever.
Jon Harder, 49, was the top executive of Sunwest Management Inc. before being indicted in 2012 for defrauding more than 1,000 investors out of $130 million between 2006 and 2008. Harder pled guilty to one felony count of mail fraud and one felony count of money laundering in January.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation alleged that Harder “controlled a network of companies which bought, constructed and managed a nationwide collection of assisted living facilities.”
The company owned as many as 300 assisted living facilities at one point, serving more than 15,000 residents throughout the U.S. Sunwest shut its doors in 2010.
Harder admitted earlier this year that he had lied to investors to defraud them of more than $5 million that was he promised would go toward specific facilities. Prosecutors allege Harder used the funds for personal expenses, including private jets, six homes and luxury homes and vacations in what is Oregon’s largest investor fraud case in history.
Harder’s legal team is calling for the minimum prison sentence—five years according to the plea deal signed in January—arguing it is “sufficient but not greater than necessary.”
Oregon prosecutors are reportedly seeking the maximum prison sentence in this case. Sentencing began Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland and is scheduled to last for two days.
Written by Amy Baxter