For Immediate Release: May 9, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen or Rhonda Burke
Release Number: 11-516-CHI
Grand Blanc, Mich.-based Graves Electric and owner to restore $20,000 to
company’s retirement plan following US Labor Department investigation
FLINT, Mich. – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent order and judgment requiring Graves Electric Inc., a Grand Blanc electrical contractor, and the company’s owner, Joel Graves, to restore $20,003.20 in unremitted employee contributions and lost opportunity costs to the company’s savings incentive match plan for employees individual retirement account. The consent order and judgment resolve a lawsuit filed by the department in November 2009, following an investigation by its Employee Benefits Security Administration into violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“Our legal action underscores the Labor Department’s commitment to hold accountable those who are entrusted with the assets of workers’ retirement plans,” said Paul C. Baumann, director of EBSA’s Cincinnati Regional Office. “We will continue to help workers obtain their rightful benefits when plan fiduciaries fail to do so.”
The department’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Flint, alleged that Joel Graves failed to remit $11,817.57 in employee contributions to the plan from Oct. 7, 2005, through Sept. 29, 2006. The judgment requires Graves to restore that amount as well as $8,185.63 in lost opportunity costs to qualified participants’ SIMPLE IRAs.
The judgment also permanently bars Graves from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan in the future. Furthermore, Graves agreed that the debt to the plan cannot be discharged under the Graves Electric Inc. bankruptcy petition filed in March 2009.
EBSA protects the security of the retirement, health and other workplace-related benefits of America’s workers, retirees and their families. The agency oversees approximately 708,000 private sector retirement plans, 2.8 million health plans and a similar number of other plans that provide benefits to more than 150 million Americans. Collectively, these plans hold more than $6 trillion in assets.
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. Graves, Graves Electric Inc.
Civil Action Number: 2:09-cv-12811
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