SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment and order to restore $46,869 to the employee benefit plan of now defunct AC General Engineering Inc., formerly located in Sacramento. The consent judgment and order resolve a lawsuit filed by the Labor Department in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the company and its officers and co-owners, Christopher Barringer and Atilano Alcala.
The suit followed an investigation by the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration, which found that the defendants failed to forward 401(k) plan contributions deducted from employees' paychecks between September 2007 and November 2009. Additionally, the company failed to collect mandatory employer prevailing wage contributions and fringe benefits owed to the plan for periods when workers were employed through government contracts. The plan had as many as 96 participants who will be eligible to receive distributions as a result of this action.
"These workers and their families are counting on hard-earned retirement benefits," said Jean Ackerman, EBSA's regional director in San Francisco. "The Labor Department is committed to holding fiduciaries legally accountable when they fail to act in the best interest of plan participants and beneficiaries."
The department previously obtained a stipulated judgment against Barringer in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding filed in the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California. That judgment, which declared that Barringer's debt to the plan was not dischargeable, cleared the path for the department to pursue its action in district court.
This case is part of EBSA's national enforcement initiative to safeguard workers' contributions to 401(k) and health benefit plans. EBSA's San Francisco Regional Office conducted the investigation. Employers and workers can contact that office at 415-625-2481 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to private sector retirement and health plans. For more information, visit http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Solis v. AC General Engineering Inc. et al.
Civil Action Number: 2:11-CV-00307-GEB-DAD
# # #
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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 www.dol.gov/compliance.