Marshfield, Wisconsin – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered more than $140,000 for two employee benefit plans sponsored by B & K Builders Inc. of Marshfield. Pursuant to today's entry of a consent order and judgment by the court, the department has recovered $117,430.85 from the company and one of its co-owners, Kenneth Staab, to restore losses to the company's prevailing wage plan. This is in addition to more than $22,000 restored to the company's 401(k) profit-sharing plan in March.
The consent order resolves a lawsuit filed as a result of an investigation by the department's Employee Benefits Security Administration into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The department alleged in its complaint that Staab and Robert Aschenbrenner, the other co-owner of B & K Builders, caused losses to both benefit plans.
"The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that workers keep what they earn and to recovering funds when they are mishandled," 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 amount restored to the prevailing wage plan represented alleged unremitted employer contributions due to the plan between June 2007 and June 2009, and associated lost opportunity costs. The plan had 25 active participants and $46,773 in assets as of March 31. The $117,430.85 of unremitted contributions was restored on Oct. 9.
Staab restored $22,847.86 in what the department alleged were unremitted employee contributions and lost opportunity costs to the company's 401(k) profit-sharing plan this March. The department alleged that the company retained the contributions, withheld from workers' paychecks between June 2005 and May 2008, instead of forwarding them on to the plan, as required under ERISA. The plan had 52 active participants and $143,720 in assets as of March 31.
The restoration of losses to both employee benefit plans totals $140,278.71.
The court order permanently bars Staab from serving as a fiduciary to any ERISA-covered plan in the future, and it removed him from his fiduciary role for both plans. B & K Builders ceased operating before the suit was filed. The court appointed an independent fiduciary to administer the plans and to ensure that the money recovered will be paid to plan participants who were harmed.
The investigation was conducted by EBSA's Chicago Regional Office personnel. Employers and workers can contact the office at 312-353-0900. The case was litigated by the department's solicitor's office in Chicago.
Workers participating in employer-sponsored health and retirement benefit plans who feel that they have been denied a benefit inappropriately or have questions about benefits laws can contact an EBSA benefits adviser by visiting http://www.askebsa.dol.gov or calling 866-444-EBSA (3272).
Solis v. B & K Builders Inc., Aschenbrenner, Staab
Civil Action Number: 3:11-cv-00705
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.