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Businessman pleads guilty to stealing $3.3M from employees

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut businessman has pleaded guilty to 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 faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Oct. 24.


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