Employee Benefits Security Administration

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
BIRMINGHAM, AL – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, has sentenced a former fund manager in Birmingham to make restitution in the amount of $45,896 and serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In addition, she has been barred from acting as a fiduciary for five years. The action follows a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration investigat
Monday, November 27, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an 18-month extension from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special Transition Period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and of the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTEs). This follows public comment on a proposed extension that was published in August. The extension gives the Department the time necessary to consider public comments submitted pursuant to the Department’s July Request
Friday, November 24, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a ninety (90) day delay – through April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits. The three month delay of the applicability date announced today is intended to give interested stakeholders the opportunity to submit, and for the Department to consider, data and information related to concerns by some insurance industry and employer groups, and some members of Congress, that the
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the October 2017 California Wildfires. The Department understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries may encounter issues complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) over the next few months as the implications of Hurricane Maria and the California Wildfires unfold. The guidance provided in this statement generally
Monday, November 20, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. The “Changes to Note” section of the 2017 instructions highlight important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and instructions.  Mod
Thursday, November 16, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached agreements to resolve three lawsuits with First Bankers Trust Services Inc. (FBTS). The lawsuits alleged that FBTS violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it approved stock purchases by three Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). As part of the agreements, FBTS will pay $15.75 million to the plans and reform its procedures for handling ESOP transactions. The Department filed suit against FBTS in 2012 in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Distri
Wednesday, November 08, 2017
CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against AEU Holdings LLC and AEU Benefits LLC (collectively “AEU”), and Black Wolf Consulting Inc. The defendants failed to pay more than $26 million for participants’ health benefit claims in the AEU Holdings LLC Employee Benefit Plan. For the first time, the Department has exercised its authority under Section 521 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to issue cease and desist orders to prevent further
Friday, November 03, 2017
NEWARK, NJ – After a seven-day trial, a jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Newark found Paul Moe Sr., general foreman for a Port Elizabeth terminal operator, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 substantive counts of wire fraud. The jury found that – from September 2015 through March 2017 – the Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, resident fraudulently colluded with others to report that he worked 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week – while he only appeared at his job site for as little as 8 hours during certain weeks – and collected a
Monday, October 30, 2017
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has sentenced a Port St. Lucie resident to serve 161 months of imprisonment, followed by an additional three years of supervised release, and to make $1,665,348 in restitution for violating federal criminal statutes pertaining to plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Miguel de Paula Arias previously pleaded guilty to three counts of a 28-count superseding indictment. The counts charged Arias wi
Friday, September 15, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Irma that parallels that which it already provided to victims of Hurricane Harvey regarding verification procedures for plan loans and distributions, participant contributions and loan payments, blackout notices, and group health plan compliance. The Hurricane Harvey relief was announced on Aug. 30, 2017, in EBSA Release Number 17-1216-NAT. The Department unders
Thursday, August 31, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed 18-month extension from January 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special transition period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24. The proposal follows a Request for Information publis
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an update on employee benefit plan compliance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “Our deepest and most immediate concern is for those who are in harm’s way, and for the first responders who will work tirelessly to help those affected,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “We also realize that employers and employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey will need assistance in dealing with employee benefits issues arising from disruptions in banking and payroll processing.” Th
Friday, August 18, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting nominations to fill five, three-year vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The deadline to submit nominations is Aug. 31. The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the 
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached an agreement with the owner of a Manhattan laser surgery center to pay $5 million to its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to resolve violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The agreement was entered in a consent judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The action follows an investigation by the New York office of the Department’s
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor and a third-party administrator that provides employee health benefit plans with access to a network of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers have reached an agreement in which the administrator has committed to improve its communications with health plans and to return certain fees the plans paid for claims administration that the department alleged were not fully disclosed to the plans. The agreement with MagnaCare LLC resolves alleged violations of the
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Type of Action: Consent order and judgement Names of Defendants: Ditch Witch Equipment of Tennessee Inc. Aubrey Needham Allegations: Based on an investigation conducted by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a civil complaint against Ditch Witch Equipment of Tennessee Inc., an underground utility construction equipment company, and Aubrey Needham, trustee of the company’s profit-sharing plan on April 29, 2014.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
DAYTON – A multi-agency federal and state investigation has led to the guilty plea and imprisonment of Ohio businessman William M. Apostelos, who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that included the theft of $1.9 million from an employee benefit plan. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation and prosecution led by the
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS – A fraud investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General has led to a 12-year prison sentence for William Jackson Moates Jr., of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The investigation found that over the course of nearly five years, Moates, 50, received investment funds from at least 25 different clients, which were not invested as Moates said they would be. Moates diverted clients’ in
Thursday, June 29, 2017
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has published a Request for Information related to the fiduciary rule. The RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide data and information that may be used to revise the rule and associated exemptions. There is a 15-day comment period regarding extending the Jan. 1, 2018 applicability date of certain aspects, and a 30-day comment period on all other issues raised in the RFI. Both begin upon publication of the RFI in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register. Complete instructions for submitting comments a
Monday, June 19, 2017
Type of Action: Consent order and judgement Names of Defendants: Andrea Lynn McCarthy Lisa Hall Truss Systems LLC Truss Systems LLC Profit Sharing Plan Allegations: The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a complaint, based on a Employee Benefits Security Administration investigation, alleging that Andrea McCarthy withdrew $111,624 between Jan. 28 and June 6, 2009, from Truss Systems LLC Profit Sharing Plan. McCarthy was criminally prosecuted, and pled guilty

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