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Published September 21, 2012, 12:53 PM

Ex-head of Oregon retirement chain accused of fraud

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The former chief executive of a Salem-based chain of retirement centers has been indicted on charges he defrauded more than 1,000 investors of $130 million.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The former chief executive of a Salem-based chain of retirement centers has been indicted on charges he defrauded more than 1,000 investors of $130 million.

Prosecutors say Jon Harder operated what amounted to a Ponzi scheme, raising money from investors and banks during the collapse of his Sunwest Management chain of more than 300 assisted-living centers and related operations.

The company housed more than 15,000 people with an average age of 85.

Harder stepped aside in 2009, the company went through reorganization, and a private equity company bought most of the holdings.

Harder was accused Wednesday in a sealed indictment and is to be arraigned Friday. Authorities say he had been living in North Dakota and surrendered Thursday in Portland.

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