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News Release

Employee Inquiry Prompts Labor Department Lawsuit Against St. Charles Couple And Company's Simplified Employee Pension Plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

As a result of an employee’s inquiry to the U.S. Labor Department about money being withheld from his paycheck and not forwarded to an individual simplified employee pension plan, established by his company Dream Piper, Inc. of St. Charles, Mo., the department today sued the SEP’s trustees for allegedly retaining and using the money for their failing company’s operating expenses.

The defendants are the SEP trustees Robert and Kimberly Brown, who were president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, of the company. Until its closing in January 1998, Dream Piper was a small computer graphics and consulting firm.

According to the department’s lawsuit, Dream Piper failed to forward withholdings of employee contributions to individually-established plan accounts during 1997, with a total owed the plan of $3,283.70, plus lost earnings.

The department is seeking to have the trustees repay the plan for any losses, including interest. Also, the court is being asked to remove the Browns from their positions of trust and permanently barred from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan and to name an independent fiduciary to collect and administer any assets owed to the plan and, ultimately, to terminate the plan.

The complaint is the result of an investigation conducted by the department’s St. Louis District Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefit Administration into alleged violations of the federal pension law. The lawsuit was filed in the federal district court in St. Louis on Aug. 25.

(Herman v. Robert Brown, et al)
Civil Action # 4:00 CV 1360-ERW

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
August 28, 2000
Release Number