Former Pension Fiduciary Convicted of Wire Fraud

Matthew Hutcheson of Eagle, Idaho, was found guilty after just a few hours’ deliberation by the jury.

Hutcheson was convicted of 17 counts of wire fraud by a federal court in Boise, Idaho. For several months in 2010, he was said to have raided retirement funds, using the money to purchase vehicles and home construction, and planning to finance the purchase of a failed resort.

Once an outspoken advocate of fee transparency, and seemingly a proponent of fiduciary standards for the profession, Hutcheson was once known as a fiduciary expert who established a platform to help advisers and other providers work with retirement plans. He pleaded not guilty to charges in April 2012. (See “Pension Fund Trustee Pleads Not Guilty to Indictment.”)

Professionals generally are displeased when a member goes rogue, bringing negative and unwanted publicity.

But one adviser does not think Hutcheson should even be termed an adviser in the first place. Perhaps it is splitting hairs, but there are many ethical advisers working hard to overcome challenges on a daily basis with plan sponsors, said James Holland, a retirement adviser in North Carolina.

The context needs to be made clear so the whole profession is not undermined because of one bad apple—“especially when the apple was actually an orange and should not have been in the bunch in the first place,” Holland said in an online forum.

Hutcheson’s sentencing is scheduled for July 23.