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News Release

Court Appoints Manager Of 'Orphaned' 401(K) Plan

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

New York, New York - The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a court order on October 22 appointing Jacqueline Carmichael as the independent fiduciary of the CCS Technologies 401(k) plan in New York City, with authority to manage, terminate and distribute assets to retirement participants.

CCS Technologies, Inc. was in the business of computer and information technologies. The 401(k) plan became an orphan plan after the company and its president, John Ruffo, failed to appoint a trustee to succeed Ruffo after his conviction in March 1996 on criminal charges of bank, wire and mail fraud. Ruffo, the plan's sole trustee, failed to surrender to authorities on November 9, 1998 to serve his prison sentence, and is believed to be in hiding, possibly abroad.

Plans become orphan plans when they are abandoned by all plan fiduciaries designated to manage and operate the plans and their assets. As a result, participants and beneficiaries are unable to receive pension distributions and to make inquiries about their benefits.

The Labor Department filed a lawsuit on October 5 for failure to appoint a successor trustee to administer the plan and failure to terminate the plan and distribute its assets to participants. The plan covered 17 participants and approximately $107,000 in assets as of August 20, 2001.

“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 Francis Clisham, director of the New York Regional Office of the Labor Department’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA). “Employers and workers can reach us at 212.337.2228 for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.”

The court action resulted from an investigation conducted by the New York Regional Office of PWBA into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

(Chao v. CCS Technologies, Inc. 401(k) Plan
Civil Action No. 01-8931)

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.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 25, 2001
Release Number