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EBSA News Brief

Office of Public Affairs Atlanta GA
For Immediate Release: January 15, 2014
Contact: Michael D'Aquino or Lindsay Williams
Phone: (404) 562-2076 or (404) 562-2078
Email: d'aquino.michael@dol.gov or williams.lindsay.1@dol.gov
Release Number: EBSA-14-76-ATL

Perez v. Zohouri Group involving failure to administer and terminate the company's 401(k) plan in Alpharetta, Ga.

Date of Action: Jan. 2, 2014

Type of Action: Default Judgment and Order

Names of Defendants: Zohouri Group LLC and Farbod S. Zohouri

Allegations: In 2005, now defunct Zohouri Group LLC, formerly a real estate mortgage broker based in Alpharetta, Ga., established a 401(k) plan for its employees. In May 2008, Zohouri Group ceased operations. When it ceased operations, the defendants failed to administer the plan and ensure that the funds in the plan were appropriately distributed to participants, leaving participants in the plan unable to receive information about their retirement benefits and unable to gain access to their retirement benefits. During the course of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, the agency learned that the abandoned plan had 22 participants with retirement benefits totaling approximately $47,000. The plan funds were held by State Street Bank and Trust Co. of Boston, Mass. State Street was unable to distribute the plan's retirement benefits without authorization from the defendants.

Resolution: In the default judgment and order, the court appointed Jeanne Bryant, of Brentwood, Tenn., to be the plan's independent fiduciary for the purpose of terminating the plan and distributing its assets. The order also permanently enjoined Zohouri Group from acting as a fiduciary to any employee benefit plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Court: United States District Court, for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division

Docket Number: 1:12-cv-03119-RLV

U.S. Department of Labor news 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.