For Immediate Release: April 13, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Release Number: 11-432-CHI
Judge orders Janesville, Wis.-based Premier Vending and company
restore more than $31,000 in employee 401(k) contributions
JANESVILLE, Wis. – The U.S. Department of
Labor has obtained a consent judgment and court order requiring
Janesville-based Premier Vending Inc. and David R. Biggerstaff, the
president and former owner of the company, to restore a total of
$31,204.46 in voluntary employee contributions plus lost interest to the
company’s 401(k) plan. The judgment, entered in U.S. district court in
Madison, resolves a lawsuit filed by the department for violations of
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“This action demonstrates our commitment to protect
the hard-earned benefits of American workers,” said Steve Haugen,
regional director of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security
Administration in Chicago. “The Labor Department will continue to help
workers obtain their rightful benefits when fiduciaries fail in their
responsibilities to properly administer employee benefit plans.”
The department’s suit alleged that the defendants
violated ERISA by failing to remit employee contributions to the plan
from Oct. 26, 2007, through Jan. 30, 2009, and to remit contributions in
a timely manner from Sept. 1, 2006, through Jan. 30, 2009. Those funds
were retained in Premier Vending’s general account and used to pay the
company’s operating expenses. Currently, the plan has approximately
nine participants and $181,742 in assets.
The judgment stipulates that the debt to the 401(k)
plan cannot be discharged as part of Biggerstaff’s personal bankruptcy
proceedings. Biggerstaff filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Aug. 24,
2010. The judgment also appoints an independent fiduciary to administer
and terminate the plan, and bars Biggerstaff from serving as a fiduciary
to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan in the future.
The investigation was conducted by EBSA’s Chicago
Regional Office. Employers and workers can reach the Chicago 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.
Solis v. Biggerstaff, Premier Vending Inc.
Civil Action Number: 3:11-cv-00031
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