WORCESTER, Mass. – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued Christopher Wong and his company, Wong’s Motor Corp. of Phillipston, Mass., for allegedly violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by using employees’ 401 (k) plan contributions for the benefit of the company.
The company, which formerly operated as Athol Ford and Mercury, was the sponsor and administrator of the plan, and Christopher Wong served as the plan’s trustee. The Labor Department’s lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Worcester, alleges that the defendants failed to forward to the plan contributions withheld from employees’ paychecks between Jan. 5 and Oct. 12, 2007. In total, the defendants collected $21,057 in employee contributions that were not forwarded to the plan account.
“The defendants used this money to satisfy the obligations of the company, which is a clear violation of the law,” said Edward Maloney, acting regional director of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in Boston, Mass. “The trustee of a retirement plan has a duty to ensure that the assets of the plan are used solely to benefit the plan’s participants.”
As relief, the department’s suit asks the court to permanently prohibit Wong from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered plan and to require that the defendants restore to the plan all losses resulting from their fiduciary breaches, plus interest.
The case was investigated by EBSA’s Boston Regional Office. Employers and workers can contact EBSA at 617-565-9600 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with any problems relating to private sector pension and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Solis v. Christopher Wong
Civil Action Number: 4:10-CV-40197
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