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News Release

Illinois Firms And Owner Ordered To Repay $15,000 To 401(K) Plans Under Labor Department Consent Judgment

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Kansas City, Missouri - A defunct printing corporation in Decatur, Illinois, a related printing firm and their owner were ordered to repay $15,000 to the participants of the corporations’ 401(k) plans in a consent judgment and order obtained on September 27 by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kowa Printing Corporation, Huston-Patterson Corp., and their owner Thomas W. Kowa were ordered to distribute the money, which covers the principal and lost opportunity costs, to the accounts of the participants in the Kowa Group Retirement Savings Plan for Union Employees and the Kowa Group Retirement Savings Plan. They were also ordered to provide the department with satisfactory proof of payment to the plans, and to offer terminated Kowa Printing employees the opportunity to either roll over or receive a distribution of their plan accounts.

The two prototype 401(k) plans covered employees of three related printing employers known as the Kowa Group. These included Kowa Printing, Huston-Patterson Corp. and Sigma Graphics, Inc. The Kowa Printing Corporation was recently dissolved.

The action was the result of a lawsuit filed by the department against the defendants alleging they violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by failing to remit employee contributions to the plans. According to the lawsuit, the defendants failed to remit voluntary contributions withheld from employees’ paychecks from March 1, 1998, to April 16, 1998, to the plans’ investment accounts.

"Our goal is to assure that consumers know that the department is only a phone call away to help protect the benefits promised by employers," said Gregory Egan, director of the Kansas City Regional Office of the department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA). "Employers and workers can reach us at 816.426.5131 for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans."

The consent order and judgment was entered in the federal district court in Urbana, Illinois. This case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Kansas City Regional Office of PWBA into alleged violations of ERISA.

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 1, 2001
Release Number