LEXINGTON, Ky. — The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained consent judgments against Robert La Courciere and Pamela Babbish, former trustees of the Fourslides Inc. pension plan; these judgments follow the recovery of $490,594 owed to the plan. A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky alleged that over three years, La Courciere, Babbish, George Hofmeister and Fourslides Inc. improperly used pension funds. Judgments against the remaining defendants are being sought by the department in ongoing litigation.
"These workers relied on employer sponsored pension funds for their retirement," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi. "While plan funds were recovered prior to these consent judgments, it is significant that these defendants, Robert La Courciere and Pamela Babbish, have also been barred from serving as fiduciaries to employee benefit plans."
The department's lawsuit alleged that La Courciere, Babbish, Hofmeister and Fourslides engaged in a series of prohibited transactions involving the Fourslides pension plan beginning in March 2006. La Courciere and Babbish were alleged to have caused the transfer of plan assets to Fourslides and the payment of excessive fees to service providers, while La Courciere also entered into a prohibited loan of nearly half the plan's assets to a party-in-interest. Hofmeister, meanwhile, was alleged to have directed each of the companies that engaged in the improper loan, benefitted from the loan, and took no action to remedy these prohibited transactions. These consent judgments permanently bar La Courciere and Babbish from serving as fiduciaries to any plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and enjoin them from violating ERISA.
The department has also filed separate lawsuits seeking to recover losses to other pension plans sponsored by companies related to Lexington-based Revstone Industries LLC, an affiliate of Fourslides. Fourslides, Revstone and their affiliated companies, design, engineer and manufacture components for use in the transportation and heavy-truck industries. Revstone and its various affiliates, including Fourslides, were directed by Hofmeister and owned by the irrevocable trusts of Hofmeister's children. These separate suits allege many other ERISA violations, including the: prohibited use of plan assets for the purchase and lease of company property, prohibited purchase of customer notes from affiliated companies, prohibited transfer of assets in favor of a party-in-interest, payment of excessive fees to service providers and payment of fees on behalf of the affiliated companies.
All of the aforementioned cases were investigated by EBSA's Cincinnati Regional Office. They are being litigated by the department's Cleveland Regional Solicitor's Office. Employers and workers can contact EBSA's Cincinnati office at 859-578-4680 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to private sector retirement and health plans.
EBSA protects the retirement, health and other workplace-related benefits of America's workers, retirees and their families. The agency oversees approximately 701,000 private sector retirement plans, 2.3 million health plans and other plans that provide benefits to more than 141 million Americans. Collectively, these plans hold more than $7.3 trillion in assets. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/.
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In the Matter of:
Perez v. George Hofmeister, et al. Civil Action File Number 5:12-cv-00250-KKC
Perez v. George Hofmeister, et al. Civil Action File Number 5:13-cv-00156-KKC
Perez v. Robert La Courciere, et al. Civil Action File Number 5:13-cv-00158-KKC