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News Brief

Harris v. Covenant Equipment Corp. involving failure to remit employee contributions to the company’s pension plan in Rock Hill, SC

Date of Action: April 30, 2013

Type of Action: Complaint

Name(s) of Defendant(s): Covenant Equipment Corporation, doing business as Wholesale Fork Lifts Inc., and Mark Sowka

Allegations: In February 2005, Covenant Equipment, based in Rock Hill, S.C., established a SIMPLE IRA plan for its employees. During the course of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the agency found that from 2007 to 2009, Covenant Equipment Corp. and Mark Sowka failed in their fiduciary responsibility to forward $21,348.14 in employee contributions to the plan in a timely manner and also allowed the funds to be commingled with general company assets.  During same period, Covenant and Sowka failed to collect and remit $11,254.53 in matching employer contributions to the plan.

Resolution: The department is asking the court to order the defendants to restore all losses, including interest or lost opportunity costs to the plan, which occurred as a result of the defendant’s breach of their fiduciary obligations; and, to permanently enjoin the defendants from serving as fiduciary, administrator, officer, trustee, custodian, agent, employee, representative, or having control over the assets of any employee benefit plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Court: United States District Court, for the District of South Carolina

Docket Number: 3:13-cv-00262

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at 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.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
May 1, 2013
Release Number