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News Release

Executive of Tennessee company sentenced after pleading guilty to theft of 401(k) assets in case investigated by U.S. Labor Department

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Atlanta — In a case investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the owner of Piping Components Inc. in Maryville, Tennessee, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, fined $2,500 and barred from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any employee benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Joseph Brent was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty to one count of theft of assets from the company’s 401(k) plan.

“Theft of employee benefit assets jeopardizes the benefits of workers,” said Howard Marsh, director of EBSA’s Atlanta Regional Office. “This case sends a clear message that theft of employee benefit plan assets is a serious crime that will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Brent was indicted October 6, 2006, on theft from an employee benefit plan governed by ERISA. He carried out the criminal act between April 19, 2001, and October 19, 2001. Brent paid $29,500 in restitution to the plan prior to the August 20 plea hearing.

Along with EBSA’s Atlanta office, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. The District Attorney’s Office for the 5th Judicial District in Maryville, Tennessee, prosecuted the case.

State of Tennessee v. Brent
Criminal Number C-16120

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
September 6, 2007
Release Number