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EBSA News Brief

Office of Public Affairs Boston MA
For Immediate Release: March 27, 2014
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald or Andre J. Bowser
Phone: (617) 565-2075 or (617) 565-2074
E-mail: fitzgerald.edmund@dol.gov or bowser.andre.j@dol.gov
Release Number: BOS 2014-042

US Labor Department files suit to remove trustee of Queens, NY, 401(k) plan
Perez v. Edward J. Sajovic and the Edward J. Sajovic Design LLC 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan

Date of Action: March 25, 2014

Type of Action: Complaint

Name(s) of Defendant: Edward J. Sajovic and the Edward J. Sajovic Design LLC 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan

Allegations: The plan was established in January 2011 to provide retirement benefits for employees of Edward J. Sajovic Design LLC, a company specializing in the design of holiday displays for stores with a last known address of 10-39 44th Dr., Long Island City, N.Y. Edward Sajovic and John Cuozzo were the plan trustees. John Hancock Financial Services has been the custodian of the plan’s assets.

An investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that in April 2013, Sajovic sought and obtained Cuozzo’s removal as a plan trustee, leaving Sajovic as the sole plan trustee. In May, Cuozzo requested that John Hancock roll over his eligible plan benefits to his individual retirement account. To date, Sajovic has not authorized the rollover for Cuozzo and for two other former employees who made the same request. Sajovic’s failure to administer the plan on behalf of anyone but himself means that Cuozzo and the plan’s other participants cannot obtain their plan assets. Currently, the plan holds $118,678.82 in assets for seven participants. 

EBSA’s investigation also found that Sajovic failed to provide the plan’s third party administrator with the information necessary to calculate the employer matching funds due to each participant in 2012, failed to file a Form 5500 with the Internal Revenue Service for 2012 and, in 2013, took $30,000 in loans from his eligible plan benefits.

Resolution: As a result of Sajovic’s failure to perform his fiduciary duties, the Department is asking the court to remove Sajovic as plan trustee, bar him from  serving as a fiduciary to this and any other ERISA-covered plan in the future and order further relief as is just and appropriate.

Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Docket Number: 1:14-cv-01922

U.S. Department of Labor materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755.