Wife fights for half of convict-husband's pensionSIOUX FALLS (AP) — The wife of a South Dakota man who stole $5.6 million from 3M Corp. wants to stop the government from using her half of his pension and retirement benefits to pay his restitution.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The wife of a South Dakota man who stole $5.6 million from 3M Corp. wants to stop the government from using her half of his pension and retirement benefits to pay his restitution.
Linda Beulke, 65, is divorcing her imprisoned husband. She did not know of her husband's scheme and is entitled to half of his legally obtained pension and retirement funds, her attorney, Clint Sargent, argued in U.S. District Court on Monday.
"It was Mrs. Beulke's responsibility during the marriage to stay home and take care of the children," Sargent said. "Because of that, she sacrificed her own ability to build retirement funds."
David Beulke, 64, a former engineer at the 3M plant in Brookings, was accused of creating bogus companies, billing 3M for parts and supplies that were never delivered and keeping the money over nearly 15 years. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud in late 2010 and is serving four years in federal prison.
He has paid more than $4.3 million of his restitution bill, the media. The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking Judge Roberto Lange to collect the remaining restitution from his pension and retirement money. David Beulke has proposed paying $900 a month toward his restitution while he is behind bars.
"We want all of it," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Holmgren said, referring to David Beulke's 401(k) account and the $3,400 monthly pension he still receives. "We are not the big, bad wolf here. The big, bad wolf is in prison."
Under South Dakota divorce law, marital assets are shared despite the name on any particular account during the marriage. Sargent argued that the divorce must be final and the assets divided before the government can seize half of the money for restitution.
Lange did not immediately issue a decision.