Ex-broker who stole from pension plan gets 6½-year sentence

A former broker was sentenced to 78 months in prison for embezzling $5.7 million from the pension plan for employees of Snow Shoe Refractories, a fire brick manufacturer located in Clarence in Centre County, Pennsylvania, according to a statement Thursday from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The broker, John Sherman Jumper, a 17-year veteran of the industry, was based in Memphis, Tennessee, but the criminal case was brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Jumper’s attorney, Edward J. Rymsza, did not return a call Friday morning to comment.

The Snow Shoe Refractories employee pension plan included about 129 active and retired employees, according to the Justice Department. At the time Jumper’s alleged embezzlement began, the plan assets were worth about $9.8 million. 

Chief District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann also ordered Jumper to pay restitution to the pension plan in the amount of $2.4 million, reflecting partial financial recoveries obtained by Snow Shoe Refractories on behalf of the plan.

Jumper was last registered with Alluvion Securities of Memphis, which closed in early 2018, according to its BrokerCheck profile and history. He was barred from the securities industry in 2017 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.

In April 2021, Jumper forged signatures on fraudulent documents that purportedly authorized him to transfer funds from the pension plan on three separate earlier occasions, from March 2015 through April 2016, according to the Department of Justice.

He used the embezzled funds to make unauthorized loans and investments for the purchase of a tubing plant in Arkansas and three other business, to pay off $1.2 million of his personal loans, and to cover his personal legal fees.

Jumper also received a personal interest in the businesses purchased with the embezzled pension funds, and the broker-dealer, Alluvion Securities, received over $1 million in fees from the sale of the Arkansas tubing plant, according to the Department of Justice.

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