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News Release

U.S. Labor Department Obtains Settlement with Greenfield, Ind., Business Owner to Restore Funds to Workers’ Simple IRA Program

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Evansville, Indiana - The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a settlement restoring $6,203.94 to the J. Smith and Company Inc. Simple IRA Plan. The agreement also ensures that the plan’s fiduciary will secure a fidelity bond and keep it active throughout the life of the retirement plan, as required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

“The department will act when plan fiduciaries fail to carry out their duty to protect the retirement plan assets held on behalf of participants,” said Joseph Menez, director of the department’s Cincinnati regional office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed by the Labor Department alleging that company owner James E. Smith failed to remit employee contributions to the employee benefit plan from April 2001 through September 2003. The consent judgment resolving the case and the complaint were filed simultaneously in the federal district court in Indianapolis. The agreement allows Smith six months to repay the money he owes the plan.

Employers with similar problems, who are not yet the subject of an investigation by EBSA, may be eligible to participate in the department’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). Participation in the VFCP requires employers to correct any violations but allows them to avoid EBSA enforcement actions and civil penalties as well as any applicable excise taxes. For more information about the VFCP, see www.dol.gov/ebsa.

The suit resulted from an investigation conducted by the Cincinnati regional office of EBSA. Employers and workers can reach the Cincinnati regional office at 859.578.4680 or through EBSA’s toll-free number, 1.866.444.EBSA (3272), for help with problems relating to private-sector retirement and health plans.

Chao v. Smith
Civil Action No. 1:06CV0051

U.S. Department of Labor news releases are accessible on the Department's Newsroom page. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202.693.7765 or TTY 202.693.7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the Department's Compliance Assistance page.

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

Contact Name: Brad Mitchell
Phone Number: 312.353.6976

Agency
Employee Benefits Security Administration
Date
January 18, 2006
Release Number
06-80-CHI