Federal Law Enforcement Confiscates $70,000 Vehicle for Application to Former CEO’s $74 Million Restitution Order

Credits: The Desert Sun

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon made a significant announcement regarding the seizure of a vehicle purchased for Jon Harder, the former CEO of Sunwest Management and associated companies.

This development is part of ongoing efforts to address a $120 million fraud scheme orchestrated by Harder, which stands as one of the largest fraud cases in Oregon’s history.

The seized vehicle, a 2023 Ford F-150 truck, was bought for approximately $70,000 in cash using funds from a non-familial source. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle was registered solely to Harder and was being kept at his residence in Canyonville, Oregon.

US Law Enforcement (Credits: The Intercept)

The U.S. Attorney’s Office took action on January 19, 2024, following a U.S. District Court order, with the U.S. Marshals Service seizing the vehicle.

A subsequent court order issued on Tuesday authorized the sale of the vehicle, with the proceeds intended to offset Harder’s outstanding restitution balance, as ordered by the court.

Jon Harder previously oversaw a network of companies involved in the acquisition, construction, and management of assisted living facilities. Under his leadership, Sunwest Management and its affiliated entities owned approximately 300 assisted living facilities, serving more than 15,000 residents at its peak.

However, Harder’s tenure was marred by deceptive practices. He knowingly misled hundreds of investors about the nature and risks of their investments in Sunwest housing facilities and development projects.

Additionally, he concealed the company’s precarious financial situation, failing to disclose that Sunwest was operating at significant monthly losses. As a result, over 1,400 investors suffered losses exceeding $120 million due to Harder’s actions.

Jon Harder was subsequently sentenced to 180 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering. In addition to his prison term, he was ordered to pay more than $74 million in restitution to his victims.

The investigation into this case was a collaborative effort involving several agencies, including IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, and the Justice Department’s U.S. Trustee Program.

The United States was represented by Julia Jarrett, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, along with the District of Oregon’s Financial Litigation Program staff.

The Financial Litigation Program (FLP) is a crucial component of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Division in the District of Oregon.

The FLP’s mission is to achieve the maximum recovery of civil and criminal debts while adhering to applicable laws, regulations, and Justice Department policies. Through its work, the FLP aims to bring closure for crime victims and recoup losses incurred by U.S. taxpayers.

Ture of Jon Harder’s vehicle and its intended sale to offset his restitution balance mark significant steps in addressing the fallout of a massive fraud scheme. This case underscores the commitment of law enforcement agencies to hold perpetrators of financial crimes accountable and seek justice for victims.