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News Release

Labor Department Sues Administrator of Cincinnati Pension Fund For Failure to Forward Employee Contributions

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Cincinnati, Ohio - The U.S. Department of Labor sued the administrator of the pension plan of defunct Mershon Metal Maintenance, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 7 for failure to forward $14,872 in employee contributions to the plan, as well as $21,222 in lost opportunity costs.

According to the lawsuit, Joseph Mershon of Speedway, Indiana, corporate president and administrator of the defined contribution plan, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by commingling plan assets with those of Mershon Metal. He allegedly failed to segregate the plan assets from corporate moneys and subsequently failed to remit these assets to the plan. In addition, he failed to comply with two subpoenas for plan records from the Labor Department, resulting in subpoena enforcement actions by the department in federal district court, and he allegedly provided inaccurate statements to participants about the plan account.

The suit also alleges that Mershon failed to obtain a fidelity bond as required by law, to create written plan documents and to file annual financial reports with the federal government.

The suit seeks the court to require Mershon to restore all losses with interest, to replace him with an independent fiduciary to administer the plan and to permanently bar Mershon from serving in a trust position to any plan governed by ERISA. The Cincinnati regional office of the department’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (EBSA) conducted the investigation leading to the filing of the case in federal district court in Cincinnati.

The plan was established in 1989 and, over the life of the company, covered 15 participants.

Employers and workers can contact the Cincinnati Regional Office at 859.578.4680 or EBSA’s Toll-Free Employee & Employer Hotline number, 1.866.275.7922, for help with problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.

(Chao v. Joseph Mershon
Civil Action No. CV-1-02-717)

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 10, 2002
Release Number