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Employee Benefits Security Administration

News Release

For Immediate Release: April 20, 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: 11-342-CHI

US Labor Department obtains order against Ohio-based Christopher
Technologies and president to restore more than $37,000 to worker 401(k) plan

WEST CHESTER, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that a federal district court in Cincinnati has issued a default judgment against Christopher Technologies LLC of West Chester and its president, John Fussner, ordering $37,232.40 in employee contributions and lost opportunity costs be repaid to the participants and beneficiaries of the company’s 401(k) profit-sharing plan.

The judgment also permanently bars Fussner from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to any employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The judgment was entered after the company and Fussner failed to respond to a court complaint.

The judgment resolves a lawsuit by the Labor Department against the company and Fussner for violating ERISA by failing to forward voluntary employee contributions to the company’s 401(k) plan between February 2007 and November 2008. This failure resulted in a loss to the plan of $37,232.40. As of Dec. 31, 2007, the plan had 15 participants and $41,048 in assets, the latest data available.

“This defendant allowed voluntary employee contributions to be withheld from pay and retained in the company’s general operating fund, when they should have been deposited into the plan’s trust,” said Paul Baumann, regional director of the department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration in Cincinnati. “The Labor Department will continue to help workers obtain their rightful benefits when fiduciaries fail in their responsibilities to properly administer all aspects of benefit plans.”

This case was investigated by EBSA’s Cincinnati Regional Office and was litigated by the department’s regional solicitor in Chicago. Employers and workers can reach EBSA’s Cincinnati office at 859-578-4680 or toll-free at 866-444-EBSA (3272) for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at www.dol.gov/ebsa.

Solis v. Fussner, Christopher Technologies LLC
Civil Action Number: 1:10-cv-00758

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