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News Release

Chicago Insurance Agency And Owner Removed From Pension Plans

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Chicago-based Illinois Vehicle Insurance Agency, Inc. (IVIA), its owner and a trustee to the company’s pension plan and 401(k) plan agreed to be removed as plan officials and to be permanently barred from serving any plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in the future, according to a judgment obtained by the U. S. Department of Lab

Under the terms of the judgment, IVIA, its owner and plan trustee Roger Wolf and plan trustee Renee Blustein also agreed to repay $24,841, representing the outstanding interest owed to the IVIA pension plan for improper loans and transfers made from the

The judgment resolves a lawsuit filed by the department on Oct.1, 1997, alleging that the defendants made a series of improper loans from the pension plan to benefit companies affiliated with Wolf. According to the lawsuit, the defendants made more than $2 million in improper loans from the pension plan to companies owned by Wolf, including $350,000 in loans to IVIA and $1,939,230 in loans to Illinois Vehicle Premium Finance Co. The lawsuit also alleged that the defendants transferred $82,511.20 in participant benefit and loan payments from the 401(k) plan to the account of Lincoln Towers Insurance Agency, another company wholly owned by Wolf, prior to making distributions to participants.

Prior to the entry of the judgment, defendants restored more than $2.8 million to the pension plan as restitution for the improper loans, transfers made and interest owed for those transactions. The payments were made both prior to and after receipt of a notice of violations sent to them by the Labor Department.

The consent order and judgment also appoints AmalgaTrust Company Inc. of Chicago as the successor trustee and Howard A. Feinstein & Associate Inc. as the successor administrator of both the pension and 401(k) plans.

IVIA is an insurer providing automobile insurance primarily to Illinois residents. IVIA's pension and 401(k) plans covered as many as 575 employees as of Dec. 31, 1995 and had combined assets of $1.2 million.

The judgment was entered on March 12, 1998 in federal district court in Chicago, Illinois. This case resulted from an investigation by the Chicago Regional Office of the department’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration into alleged violations of ERISA.

(Herman v. Illinois Vehicle Insurance Agency Inc.)
Civil Action No. 97-C-6866

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

Contact Name: GLORIA DELLA
Phone Number: 202.219.8921

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 12, 1998
Release Number
USDL: V-74