The former executive director of the Utah Pork Producer’s Association, accused of stealing money for years from his own organization, has been sentenced to probation.
Haven Hendricks, 76, pleaded no contest in November to second-degree felony communications fraud and third-degree felony unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary. Two other similar charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
In court papers, Hendricks admitted that he defrauded the Utah Pork Producer’s Association (UPPA) by obtaining money “by way of fraudulent pretenses” which exceeded $5,000.
A civil lawsuit alleged the former director stole more than $325,000 from the association by diverting payments to himself from corporate accounts.
On Monday, 1st District Judge Kevin Allen sentenced Hendricks to 36 months probation, and ordered that he not work any job where he is handling money. Court records note that a settlement was reached in October in the civil case, where Hendricks had agreed to pay back an undisclosed amount in restitution.
Hendricks served as director for decades and was the “primary employee” of UPPA, according to the civil lawsuit filed by the organization.
The lawsuit claims that UPPA did not know how long the alleged crimes had been going on, though the criminal prosecutors accuse Hendricks of taking the money between 2008-2015.
Hendricks was fired by the UPPA board of directors when they discovered the alleged fraud in March 2015, according to the complaint.