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SAG P&H Whistleblower Steered Cash to Husband

An ex-employee of SAG’s pension and health plans who leveled accusations of wrongdoing against his former employer has admitted to hiring his husband’s marketing firm to do work for the plans. Citing internal documents and emails, the Los Angeles Times reported that Craig E. Simmons, former human resources director for SAG-Producers Pension and Health Plans, funneled close to $25,000 in payments to his husband’s company, Fortress Communications. Simmons told the Times in an interview that he had approved the hiring of Fortress to work on SAG-PPHP’s 50th anniversary campaign, saying, “We were encouraged to hire people we knew well.”

Last month, Simmons told the U.S. Department of Labor that he was instructed to by SAG-PPHP Chief Executive Bruce Dow to lie to federal officials investigating the alleged embezzlement by a former employee, Nader Karimi, of between $5 million and $10 million dollars. Simmons claimed that he was fired from his job after refusing to do so. He has also accused Dow of illegally steering money to family members, including the chief executive’s wife and brother-in-law. In a letter sent to the Times, the SAG-PPHP board of trustees wrote, “We continue to have confidence in our CEO Bruce Dow and the 200-plus staff members who manage our plans' operations and assets. We want to emphasize that the assets in our pension and health plans are safe and secure.”
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