Judge: Feds can seize pension in jobs scandal
IOWA CITY (AP) — The federal government can seize the retirement benefits of a former director of an Iowa job-training agency while she serves prison time on charges that she orchestrated a scheme to overpay herself and others by millions of dollars, a judge ruled Monday.
Ramona Cunningham’s monthly pension of $2,700 from the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System will go toward the $1.65 million she and another co-defendant have been ordered to pay in restitution, Judge Robert Pratt ruled. But after she is released from prison in 2015, only 25 percent of her pension can be seized for restitution under federal law, and Cunningham is entitled to the rest, Pratt ruled.
Cunningham, the former chief executive of the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium, is serving a seven-year prison sentence handed down in 2008 for her role in a scheme in which up to $2.5 million in public funds were misspent on excessive salaries and bonuses for agency administrators between 2003 and 2006.
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