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News Release

Labor Department Sues Minnesota Landscaper to Recover 401(k) Assets

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Kansas City, Missouri - The U. S. Department of Labor sued British Landscapes, Ltd. of Roseville, Minnesota and Charles M. Glossop, trustee of the British Landscapes, Ltd. 401(k) Plan, to recover $3,850.51 in employee contributions and interest resulting from their failure to remit employee contributions to the plan.

“This action reaffirms our commitment to protect the hard-earned benefits promised by employers,” said Gregory P. Egan, Director of the Kansas City Regional Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA).

British Landscapes and Glossop allegedly violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when they failed to deposit all employee contributions owed to the plan from January 28, 2000 to September 15, 2000. According to the suit, the defendants failed to remit to the plan $14,298.78 in voluntary salary reduction contributions withheld from employees’ wages. On December 19, 2001, Glossop forwarded $11,019.48 to the plan’s third party administrator as partial payment of the amounts due. The defendants also failed to obtain a fidelity bond as required by ERISA.

The suit seeks a court order to require the defendants to restore withheld employee contributions to the plan plus interest and to disgorge any profits resulting from the alleged violations. The suit also seeks to permanently bar him from serving as a fiduciary to any plan governed by ERISA.

Egan noted that employers with similar problems, who are not yet the subject of an investigation by PWBA, may be eligible to participate in the department’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). Participation in the VFCP requires employers to make workers whole but allows them to avoid government excise taxes.

“The VFCP program gives plan sponsors a way to come into compliance with ERISA by restoring workers’ benefits while avoiding an investigation by the government," said Egan. "It protects workers’ health and retirement benefits and allows us to focus our resources on those who seek to avoid compliance.”

This suit, filed in federal district court in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 27, 2002, resulted from an investigation conducted by PWBA’s Kansas City Regional Office. Employers and workers can contact the regional office at 816.426.5131 or PWBA’s Toll-Free Employee & Employer Hotline number, 1.866.275.7922, for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.

(Chao v. British Landscapes, Ltd.
Civil Action No. 02-1380-MJD/JGL)

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

Employee Benefits Security Administration
July 28, 2002
Release Number