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News Release

Labor Department Reaches Court Settlement With Gmp Associates, President In Pension Case

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that a settlement agreement and consent order have been entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, Honolulu, which resolves the department’s suit against GMP Associates, Inc., and its president Wagdy Guirguis for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal pension law, relating to their administration of the GMP Associates, Inc., 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan. GMP Associates, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiaries GMP Holding, Inc., GMP Construction, Inc., and GMP Construction Guam, Inc., provided architectural and engineering services to their clients.

According to David Ganz, Los Angeles regional director for the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA), the defendants will pay the Plan at least $169,235 representing an estimate of the amount of employee contributions, employer matching contributions and participant loan repayments owed to the Plan, plus interest caluculated through Feb. 1, 1999.

On Dec. 30, 1998, the Labor Dept. filed its lawsuit allenging that GMP and Guirguis breached the fiduciary responsibilities imposed upom them under ERISA by engaging in a pattern of withholding employee contributions from participants’ paychecks and then failing to forward these contributions to the Plan within the time period required by Department of Labor regulations. Similarly, the department alleged that the defendants failed to collect for the Plan loan repayments which were withheld from employee paychecks and GMP’s required 1995 matching pension plan contribution.

In addition to the restoration of any losses suffered by the Plan, under the terms of today’s consent order, the defendants agreed to step down as fiduciaries of the Plan and to appoint an independent fiduciary with full discretionary authority to administer the Plan. Further, the defendants are enjoined from serving as fiduciaires to any employee benefit plan covered by ERISA and are responsibile for all costs associated with the appointment and retention of the independent fiduciary, Ganz said.

Following the appointment of the independent fiduciary, the defendants will provide any additional documents needed to permit an accurate calculation of the total amount due the Plan, he added.

The original court filing and today’s subsequent settlement and consent order resulted from an investigation conducted by the Los Angeles PWBA Regional Office, headed by Ganz, which enforces ERISA.

Not to editors: Civil Action File No. 98-01023 HG


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

Contact Name: Mike Shimizu
Phone Number: 206.553.7620

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 15, 1999
Release Number