Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

News Release

Ohio Trustees Ordered to Restore More than $100,000 to Profit Sharing Plan for Failure to Diversify Plan Assets

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Contact Name: Joseph Menez / Rita Ford
Phone Number: 606.578.4680 / 202.219.8921

Three trustees of the J.W. Harris Co., Inc. profit sharing plan in Cincinnati, Oh., were ordered to restore $105,000.00 to the profit sharing plan in a consent order and judgment obtained by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Named as defendants are trustees Joseph W. Harris, Gordon L. Harris, Lawrence S. Glaser and the company J.W. Harris Co. Inc.

The action resulted from a lawsuit filed by the department in June 1996 that alleged the trustees concentrated up to 30 percent of plan money in Merck common stock in violation of the diversification requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The company was charged with failing to correct the improper actions of the trustees.

Under the order and judgement, the defendants must restore the money to the individual accounts of eligible current and former plan participants covered by the plan and no allocations are to be made to either the fiduciaries who held accounts in the plan or to their beneficiaries. Any fund allocations unclaimed by the former participants and beneficiaries after one year from the entry of the consent order and judgment will be forfeited and returned to the plan.

The case resulted from an investigation by the department's Cincinnati Regional Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration into violations of ERISA.

The consent order and judgment was entered on July 28 in the federal district court in Cincinnati, Oh.

Herman v. J.W. Harris Co., Inc. et al
Civil Action No. C-96-568

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 (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7828 or TTY 202.693.7755. The Labor Department 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.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
July 31, 1997
Release Number