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US Labor Department sues Wisconsin-based B & K Builders, co-owners to recover more than $114,000 for company’s employee benefit plans
MARSHFIELD, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor has sued B & K Builders Inc. of Marshfield and its co-owners, Robert Aschenbrenner and Kenneth Staab, to restore $17,835.41 plus interest to the company’s 401(k) profit-sharing plan. Additionally, the suit seeks restitution of $97,307.79 from B & K Builders Inc. and Staab as fiduciaries to the B&K Builders Inc. Prevailing Wage Plan. The case is the result of an investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“The Labor Department is committed to ensuring workers keep what they earn,” said Steve Haugen, EBSA’s regional director in Chicago. “We will continue to hold fiduciaries accountable when they ignore their responsibilities and put workers’ hard-earned retirement income at risk.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Madison, alleges that the company, Aschenbrenner and Staab failed to forward $17,835.41 in employee contributions to the company’s 401(k) plan from Sept. 23, 2006, to May 15, 2008. They also failed to timely remit employee contributions to the plan from June 30, 2005, to Aug. 24, 2006. The plan had 52 active participants and $222,633 in assets as of March 31, 2009, the latest information available.
The suit also alleges that B & K Builders Inc. agreed to utilize a portion of the money received under state and federal contracts to pay employer contributions to the Prevailing Wage Plan. The Prevailing Wage Plan mandates that B & K Builders Inc. pay required prevailing wage contributions to the Prevailing Wage Plan. Staab and B & K Builders Inc., as fiduciaries, failed to remit $97,307.79 in employer contributions for the period of June 2007 through June 2009 to the Prevailing Wage Plan.
The suit seeks a court order to restore money owed to both plans; correct transactions prohibited by law; remove B & K Builders, Aschenbrenner and Staab from serving as fiduciaries to the plans; and permanently bar them from serving as fiduciaries to any ERISA-covered plan in the future. It also asks the court to appoint an independent fiduciary to administer the plans.
This case is part of EBSA’s national enforcement initiative to safeguard workers’ contributions to 401(k) and health benefit plans. The investigation was conducted by EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office and is being litigated by the Labor Department’s regional solicitor in Chicago. Employers and workers can contact EBSA’s Chicago office at 312-353-0900 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to private sector pension and health plans. Additional information can be found at www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Solis v. B & K Builders Inc., Aschenbrenner, Staab
Civil Action Number: 3:11-cv-00705
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.