Ex-Starkey execs indicted in $20M embezzlement conspiracy

Markets Associated Press

Federal prosecutors are accusing three former executives of Minnesota-based Starkey Hearing Technologies of taking part in a conspiracy to embezzle more than $20 million from the hearing aid maker and its principal owner.

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The indictment announced Wednesday charges former company President Jerry Ruzicka, two more former executives and two other men.

According to the indictment, between 2006 and last September, the defendants conspired to embezzle and misappropriate money and business opportunities belonging to Starkey and Sonion, a major supplier of hearing aid components to Starkey.

Ruzicka's defense attorney, John Conard, says his client "has done nothing wrong."

Starkey is known for its foundation that hosts annual star-studded charity galas headlined by such celebrities as former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Katy Perry and Elton John.