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US Labor Department sues Janesville, Wis.-based Premier Vending Inc. and president to recover more than $26,000 in employee 401(k) contributions
JANESVILLE, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued Premier Vending Inc. of Janesville and its president and co-owner, David R. Biggerstaff, to restore $26,163.50 to the company’s 401(k) plan in voluntary employee contributions, plus lost interest. The case resulted from an investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“It is an egregious violation of trust when employees’ voluntary salary contributions are incorporated into the general assets of the company and not forwarded to their retirement plans,” said Steve Haugen, EBSA’s regional director in Chicago, Ill. “The Labor Department will continue to help workers obtain their rightful benefits when fiduciaries fail in their responsibilities to properly administer employee benefit plans.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Madison, Wis., alleges that the company and Biggerstaff violated ERISA by failing to forward the employee contributions to the plan from Oct. 26, 2007, through Jan. 30, 2009. Those funds were retained in Premier Vending’s general account and used to pay the company’s operating expenses. In addition, the defendants failed to timely remit employee contributions to the plan from Sept. 1, 2006, through Jan. 30, 2009. The suit seeks a court order to restore money owed to the plan and to prevent Biggerstaff from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan in the future.
Currently, the plan has approximately nine participants and $181,742 in assets.
The investigation was conducted by the EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office. Employers and workers can reach the agency’s Chicago office at 312-816-0503 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Solis v. Biggerstaff, Premier Vending Inc.
Civil Action Number: 3:11-cv-00031
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