FBI raids home of former Starkey Hearing president


FBI agents have raided the home of the former Starkey Hearing Technologies president.

FOX 9 reports that agents descended on the Plymouth home of Jerry Ruzicka, who was ousted along with three other top executives by Starkey CEO Bill Austin this past summer, around lunchtime on Wednesday.

When Ruzicka and the other executives – Chief Financial Officer Scott Nelson, Senior Vice President of Operations Keith Guggenberger and Senior Vice President of Human Resources Larry Miller – left the company, Austin said that he couldn't comment because of "an ongoing investigation."

At the time, the FBI didn't appear involved in the investigation, but the agency seems to be now after it executed a search warrant, as KARE 11 reports, pulling computers and other items from Ruzicka's home and taking one of his cars.

The Star Tribune reports that the IRS was also involved in the raid, adding that Ruzicka wasn't at home when the agents arrived.

The newspaper had reported on Friday that Ruzicka and Guggenberger filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Starkey, seeking damages of $10.9 million after alleging that Austin "marginalized and ignored" them for failing to promote Austin's stepson.

The lawsuit contends that the pair are largely responsible for building the company into the giant it is today, with Austin focusing primarily on "patient care and philanthropic work" as opposed to the business side, the newspaper notes.

In a statement given to reporters and

">recorded by FOX 9's Tim Blotz, Ruzicka's attorney said Austin was making "wild accusations" about his client following the filing of the lawsuit.

Eden Prairie-based Starkey is the fifth-largest hearing aid maker in the world and largest in the United States.

As well as founding the company, Austin also created the Starkey Foundation, which hosts star-studded annual galas with former presidents and celebrities among those who attend.

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