Former Sunwest CEO begins prison sentence

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Jon Michael Harder in his 2012 arrest photo (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office).
Jon Michael Harder in his 2012 arrest photo (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office).

Jon Michael Harder, the former CEO of Sunwest Management, began a 15-year sentence at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, CA, on Thursday.

Harder, 51, was sentenced to prison in November after having pleaded guilty in January 2015 to one felony count of mail fraud and one felony count of money laundering. He admitted to lying to more than 50 assisted living community investors to obtain more than $5 million from late 2007 through February 2008. His sentence also includes three years of supervised release and restitution to his victims.

Harder originally was indicted in 2012 on 56 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges. The government accused him of defrauding more than 1,000 investors out of about $130 million in a Ponzi scheme between 2006 and 2008.

At one point, Sunwest owned about 300 assisted living communities. Harder left the company in 2009 as part of a corporate restructuring effort.

The U.S. District Court in Portland, OR, had recommended that Harder serve his sentence at the medium-security federal prison in Sheridan, OR, to ease visitation for his wife and daughter, but the prison he reported to is about 900 miles, or more than 13 hours, from Sheridan. The Lompoc prison houses about 1,200 male inmates, according to its website.

Harder is scheduled to be released in about 13 years, on March 19, 2029, according to the Bureau of Prisons.

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