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News Release

Albuquerque Company Ordered To Repay Its 401(K) Plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

A New Mexico State Court ordered Albuquerque-based R.B. French Fire & Sound, Inc. to pay restitution of employee contributions which the company failed to remit to the company’s 401(k) account and serve 18 months probation.

Also, owners of the company are barred from becoming involved in the future in any employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The company pled guilty to a fourth degree felony on Oct. 15. The corporation had been charged with one count of fraud over $250 on Sept. 28.

The corporation, a contractor in the business of installing fire alarm and sound systems, sponsored an ERISA-covered 401(k) retirement plan for its 30 employees.

The government’s criminal charges alleged that R. B. French fraudulently retained $24,347.39 of the employees’ 401(k) contributions from September 1998 through May 15, 1999 and failed to remit the contributions as instructed by the employees. The corporation also allegedly failed to remit its own matching contributions.

“This case is a good example of state and federal cooperation in pursuing those who deprive participants of their retirement savings,” said Bruce Ruud, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration regional director in Dallas. “Participants who feel there may be a problem with their employee benefit plans should call my office at 214-767- 6831.”

The case was prosecuted by the Office of the District Attorney, Second Judicial District in Albuquerque, NM, as a result of an investigation conducted by the Dallas regional office of the Labor Department’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.

(State of New Mexico v. R.B. French Fire & Sound)
Criminal Case # CRCR-99 99 31 43

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 202.693.7755.

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Contact Name: Diana Petterson
214.767.4776, ext. 222
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey
Phone Number: 202.219.8921

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 28, 1999
Release Number