A former Plainville contractor has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for stealing more than $3.3 million from hundreds of his employees through phony administrators' fees on their pension plans.
Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Lee Ferguson, of Farmington, who owned Ferguson Electric and Ferguson Mechanical, deducted from $1.60 to $3.15 per hour from each employee's benefits packages under the guise of "third-party administrative fees."
The fees went to TPA of Connecticut, a company Ferguson established and controlled. TPA of Connecticut, in turn, sent the money to DJS Associates, a company that Ferguson formed for the purported purpose of performing business-consulting services, but which did no such thing.
Authorities say Ferguson stole from more than 300 employees from 2013 until 2017. He resigned as CEO and president on April 1 and relinquished all of his interests in the companies. Federal prosecutors said Monday that he has made full restitution.
Ferguson pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering in July 2019. He was sentenced Monday to 20 months in prison followed by one year supervised release, and ordered to pay a $200,000 fee.
The company remains operational with Ferguson removed.
“Mr. Lee Ferguson resigned and relinquished all interests in Ferguson Electric Co., Inc. and Ferguson Mechanical Co., Inc. last spring. He has taken full and complete responsibility and at no time did anyone else at his former companies participate in or was aware of his actions or motives. Full restitution had been made to effected (sic) employees prior to his sentencing today," Chuck Coursey, a spokesperson for Ferguson Electric Co., Inc. and Ferguson Mechanical Co., Inc. wrote in a statement Monday.
Ferguson was released on a $50,000 bond and is due to report to prison on April 28.