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Judge orders Janesville, Wis.-based Premier Vending and company president to restore more than $31,000 in employee 401(k) contributions
JANESVILLE, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment and court order requiring Janesville-based Premier Vending Inc. and David R. Biggerstaff, the president and former owner of the company, to restore a total of $31,204.46 in voluntary employee contributions plus lost interest to the company’s 401(k) plan. The judgment, entered in U.S. district court in Madison, resolves a lawsuit filed by the department for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“This action demonstrates our commitment to protect the hard-earned benefits of American workers,” said Steve Haugen, regional director of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in Chicago. “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 department’s suit alleged that the defendants violated ERISA by failing to remit employee contributions to the plan from Oct. 26, 2007, through Jan. 30, 2009, and to remit contributions in a timely manner from Sept. 1, 2006, through Jan. 30, 2009. Those funds were retained in Premier Vending’s general account and used to pay the company’s operating expenses. Currently, the plan has approximately nine participants and $181,742 in assets.
The judgment stipulates that the debt to the 401(k) plan cannot be discharged as part of Biggerstaff’s personal bankruptcy proceedings. Biggerstaff filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Aug. 24, 2010. The judgment also appoints an independent fiduciary to administer and terminate the plan, and bars Biggerstaff from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan in the future.
The investigation was conducted by EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office. Employers and workers can reach the 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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