Skip to page content
Employee Benefits Security Administration

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

News Release

Release Date: September 6, 2007
Release Number: 07-1355-ATL
Contact Name: Gloria Della/Richard Manning
Phone Number: 202.693.8664/202.693.4676

Executive of Tennessee company sentenced after pleading guilty to theft of 401(k) assets in case investigated by U.S. Labor Department

Atlanta — In a case investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the owner of Piping Components Inc. in Maryville, Tennessee, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, fined $2,500 and barred from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any employee benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Joseph Brent was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty to one count of theft of assets from the company’s 401(k) plan.

“Theft of employee benefit assets jeopardizes the benefits of workers,” said Howard Marsh, director of EBSA’s Atlanta Regional Office. “This case sends a clear message that theft of employee benefit plan assets is a serious crime that will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Brent was indicted October 6, 2006, on theft from an employee benefit plan governed by ERISA. He carried out the criminal act between April 19, 2001, and October 19, 2001. Brent paid $29,500 in restitution to the plan prior to the August 20 plea hearing.

Along with EBSA’s Atlanta office, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. The District Attorney’s Office for the 5th Judicial District in Maryville, Tennessee, prosecuted the case.

State of Tennessee v. Brent
Criminal Number C-16120

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Department's Newsroom page. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7828 or TTY 202.693.7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the Department's Compliance Assistance page.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.