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Employee Benefits Security Administration

News Release

For Immediate Release: March 23, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6876/312-353-6976
Email: Allen.scott@dol.gov/Burke.rhonda@dol.gov
Release Number: 11-331-CHI

US Labor Department sues Merrillville, Ind.-based company, owner to
recover nearly $9,000 in employee retirement contributions and interest

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued Family Mobile Medical Services Inc. of Merrillville and owner Ben Richmond to restore $8,965.94 in voluntary employee contributions plus interest to the company’s retirement plan. The case resulted from an investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

“It is a violation of trust when employees’ voluntary salary contributions are incorporated into the general assets of the company and not forwarded to their retirement plans,” said Steve Haugen, EBSA’s regional director in Chicago. “The Labor Department will continue to help workers obtain their rightful benefits when fiduciaries fail to properly administer employee benefit plans.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Hammond, alleges that the company and Richmond violated ERISA by failing to forward the employee contributions to the plan from April 1 through Dec. 31, 2008. The money was retained in a Family Mobile Medical Services general account and used to pay the company’s operating expenses. In addition to the restitution, the suit seeks a court order to prevent Richmond from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan in the future. The company ceased business operations in February 2011.

Employers and workers can reach EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office at 312-816-0503 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa. The case was litigated by the department’s regional solicitor in Chicago.

Solis v. Richmond, Family Mobile Medical Services Inc.
Civil Action Number: 2:11-cv-00105

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