A central Iowa couple has been sentenced for embezzling money from the retirement accounts of their employees.
Prosecutors say James Van Elsen and his wife, Beth Ann, of Urbandale used money from their company to maintain their “expensive lifestyle,” paying a boat, cars and a second home in Pella.
A former worker at Van Elsen Consulting contacted federal officials to complain the company had taken money out of his paychecks in 2005 and 2006, money that was supposed to be deposited in his I-R-A account, but the money wasn’t there. Authorities say an investigation revealed the same thing happened to two other employees.
The Van Elsens admit they failed to forward the money to the I.R.A. accounts. They say it was an attempt to save a failing business. U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt says this was a “crime of greed, plain and simple.” He says the couple deliberately decided “to keep their employees’ money for themselves.”
James Van Elsen has been sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison. His wife has been sentenced to home confinement for a year.