Connecticut contractor sentenced to 20 months in prison for stealing $3m from employees

The owner and operator of two businesses who pleaded guilty in July 2019 to laundering $3.35m from 300 employees has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Lee Ferguson, who runs Ferguson Electric and Ferguson Mechanical, based in Plainville, Connecticut, took between $1.60 to $3.15 from each of his employee’s hourly fringe benefits package, cited the deductions as a "third party administrator fee" for their pension plans.

Ferguson then moved the money into another of his companies, TPA of Connecticut, then another, DJS Associates, a Florida firm that was described as his business consultancy.

US District Judge Michael Shea also ordered Ferguson to pay a $200,000 fine and to spend a year on supervised release after serving his sentence.

Ferguson Contractors has been active since 1925, and is a general and specialist contractor, offering "electrical and mechanical systems for construction projects".

Ferguson Electric and Ferguson Mechanical are due to continue without Lee Ferguson’s input, NBC Connecticut quotes Chuck Coursey, a spokesperson for the two firms, who said: "Lee Ferguson resigned and relinquished all interests in Ferguson Electric and Ferguson Mechanical last spring.  

"He has taken full and complete responsibility and at no time did anyone else at his former companies participate in or become aware of his actions or motives. Full restitution had been made to affected employees prior to his sentencing today."

Image: ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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