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News Release


Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

The U. S. Department of Labor has sued trustees of the National Electrical Benefit Fund in Rockville, Md., for making an imprudent loan of over $6 million in pension assets and for an imprudent purchase of shares in a limited partnership in 1992 and 1993.

The fund is a collectively bargained defined benefit pension plan funded through contributions of participating employers. Over 390,000 participants are covered by the pension fund, which had approximately $6 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 1996.

Named as defendants are former trustee Jack F. Moore and trustee John M. Grau. Moore also served as Executive Secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from 1985 to March 1997. Grau has been Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Electrical Contractors Association since 1985.

The Labor Department lawsuit alleges that the trustees imprudently loaned plan assets to Columbia Land and Development Corporation (Columbia) to acquire and develop land in Orlando, Fla., known as Country Run. The land was to be developed into approximately 545 single-family lots for sale to home builders. The department charges that the trustees should have known that the loan could not be repaid in full with interest.

American Capitol Management Co. (ACMC), a partner with the fund in a separate investment known as the American Capitol Group I Assets Limited Partnership, guaranteed payment of the Country Run loan. Terence R. McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy S. McAuliffe, are owners of Columbia and ACMC.

According to the lawsuit, the trustees also imprudently made two purchases of ACMC’s interest in the limited partnership totaling $2.45 million, thereby reducing the value of ACMC’s guarantee on the Country Run loan. ACMC’s interest in the limited partnership declined after these investments from 50% to 11.9%. Furthermore, the trustees allegedly made one of the purchases of ACMC’s limited partnership interest even though the Country Run loan was in default. The loan had been in default continuously from December 1992 to October 1997.

The fund subsequently sold its share of the partnership and the Country Run note to ACMC at a loss.

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the trustees to reimburse the fund for any losses, including interest.

The lawsuit, filed on May 5, 1999, in federal district court in Maryland, resulted from an investigation conducted by the Washington District Office of the Philadelphia Regional Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

(Herman v. Moore)
Civil Action No. AW99-1283

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Internet. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the Central Office for Assistive Services and Technology. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202.693.7773 or TTY 202.693.7775.

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

Contact Name: GLORIA DELLA
Phone Number: (202) 219-8921 

Employee Benefits Security Administration
May 5, 1999
Release Number