Former SAG pension exec claims embezzlement

Pension plan's board of trustees denies allegation

A dismissed executive of the Screen Actors Guild — Producers Pension and Health Plans has filed a complaint with the federal government asserting that he was terminated for acting as a whistleblower about alleged embezzlement at the fund.

The board of trustees of the plans, operated separately from SAG, has denied the allegations and retained outside counsel to review the matter.

Craig E. Simmons alleged in a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Labor that he was fired in March by chief executive Bruce Dow due to Simmons’ refusal to mislead board trustees and government investigators about embezzlement by the plans’ former chief information officer, Nader Karimi.

Simmons also alleged in the complaint that Dow and other execs have participated in kickbacks and used insider information for purchases of stock and funds for personal benefit.

“Unfortunately, the Trustees have apparently chosen not to act on the information provided to them despite strong evidence of violations,” Simmons said in the complaint to the Dept. of Labor. “As a result, I am now seeking an additional independent investigation into this troubling matter.”

Simmons said he made allegations in March and August to the SAG-PPHP board of trustees. The board issued a statement Friday.

“We take these allegations very seriously and we have retained outside counsel to conduct a full review of the matter,” the statement read. “Bruce Dow has a nearly 30-year unblemished record of running this organization and continues to have the full support of the SAG-PPHP Board, as we believe these allegations are without merit.”

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