Super fraudster whose sentence was commuted by Donald Trump must pay back $74 million after duping investors into pouring money into his 300 failing nursing homes
- A fraudulent businessman whose 15-year prison sentence was commuted by then-President Donald Trump owes his victims $74 million
- Jon Harder, 58, misled investors about the financial realities of his nursing home business, ultimately costing them a combined $120 million
- On Friday, federal authorities announced the amount the government says he must repay to investors
An Oregon man whose sentence was commuted by then-President Donald Trump must now pay $74 million to about 1,400 investors in what has been called “one of the largest financial fraud schemes” in state history.
In 2021, the 15-year sentence of Jon Michael Harder, 58, was commuted by Trump. But on Friday, was ordered by officials on Friday to pay $74,062,211 to the investors he affected crime.
Harder was convicted of misleading investors during his time as CEO of Sunwest Management, an organization that owned about 300 elderly care facilities with a total population of more than 15,000.
Prosecutors determined that the businessman knowingly lied to investors about the risks of investing in his company, which in reality was “continually operating at significant monthly losses.”
Jon Michael Harder, 58, whose 15-year prison sentence for financial fraud was commuted by former President Donald Trump, has been ordered to pay $74 million to his victims
The former president commuted Harder’s sentence on his last day in office after determining that the disgraced CEO’s full cooperation with the government had yielded materially positive results for some of his victims and employees, at the expense of his immediate personal cost.
Sunwest had reportedly expanded too quickly and was in a serious cash crisis at the time of Harder’s fraud.
The Oregon U.S. Attorney’s office said Harder complied with his scheme, which ultimately caused more than $120 million in financial losses.
More than a decade ago, a federal grand jury in Portland indicted the CEO on 56 counts of mail fraud, bank fraud and money fraud.
A few years later, in 2015, Harder pleaded guilty to bank fraud and money laundering. He received a sentence of 15 years behind bars plus three years of supervised release.
Trump then commuted Harder’s sentence to time served in 2021, giving the disgraced businessman nine years in prison.
After news of the commutation broke, former wildcat prosecutor Allan Garten, who led the case against Harder, expressed his disappointment.
“We fully met our obligation and the judge fully met his obligation,” said Garten, who has since retired.
‘I am not at all surprised that Trump would fail to fulfill his mandate. The fact that he commuted the sentence without taking the victims into account is consistent with his conduct during the four years he was in office.”
The former headquarters of Sunwest Management in Salem, Oregon. Harder’s scheme turned out to be one of the largest financial frauds in the state’s history
On his last day in office in January 2021, Trump commuted Harder’s sentence based on the argument that the Sunwest CEO had “fully accepted responsibility, pleaded guilty and cooperated in the government’s civil and criminal actions against him at high rates.” personal costs.’
The government cited arguments from former DC District Court Chief Judge Michael Hogan, who has said Harder’s full cooperation occurred “against his substantial financial and criminal interests,” but allowed Sunwest’s investors to take a greater share of their recover money than would otherwise have been the case. be able to.
It also ensured that seniors living in long-term care facilities could remain there and that its employees could “maintain their livelihoods,” the White House said.
“President Trump commends Mr. Harder for choosing to put his employees, investors and seniors living in Sunwest homes above himself,” said one White House note on the Harder commutation.