Pension Fund Trustee Pleads Not Guilty to 31-Count Indictment

Independent fiduciary and plan trustee Matthew Hutcheson of Eagle, Idaho, pleaded not guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boise.

Hutcheson, an early member of the advisory board of BrightScope, the retirement plan ratings service, was independent fiduciary and trustee of the G Fiduciary Retirement Income Security Plan, also known as the Benefit Guard 401(k) Plan, a multiple-employer plan (MEP).

He was taken into custody by the FBI Wednesday, the same day a federal court in Idaho unsealed a 31-count indictment with 17 counts of wire fraud and 14 counts of theft of more than $5 million in pension plan assets.

From January 2010 to December 2010, Hutcheson allegedly directed the plan’s recordkeeper to send 12 wire transfers, totaling more than $2 million, from the plan’s account held at Charles Schwab to accounts controlled by Hutcheson. He is also accused of having diverted $3.2 million from another plan, the Retirement Security Plan and Trust.





According to the indictment, the recordkeeper, Aspire Financial, was instructed to report, for each transfer, on participants’ plan statements that the money was invested in an investment called “TDA Mid-Term Interest-Bearing (Cash Equiv[alent]).”

Typically, the same day the assets were wired from Charles Schwab, Hutcheson allegedly made payments to a variety of vendors and entities, including an Eagle, Idaho, contractor, and a car dealership and motorcycle dealership, both in Boise, Idaho, for two all-terrain vehicles and three automobiles, including a 2004 BMW convertible.

Approximately $892,000 was allegedly paid from Hutcheson’s account for extensive home renovations, including a swimming pool, hot tub, pool mechanical building; a secondary garage, a doghouse, landscaping and fencing, driveways, and construction of a  4,100-square-foot barn (with loft apartment and office space).

Hutcheson is accused of using $366,000 to repay personal loans.