CLEVELAND –The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a complaint on behalf of the Cleveland-based Attevo 401(k) retirement plan. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division in Cleveland, alleges improper use of pension funds and seeks to restore $123,338.85 to the plan. An investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found the plan’s fiduciaries failed to remit participant contributions and loan repayments withheld from paychecks to the retirement plan, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
“People entrusted with workers’ retirement plans must be held accountable when they fail to uphold that trust,” said Joe Rivers, director of EBSA’s Cincinnati Regional Office, which conducted the investigation. “We at the department are committed to helping workers obtain their rightful benefits when plan fiduciaries violate the law.”
The complaint alleges that Cirric Inc., as the successor to Averrock Inc. and Attevo Inc., and its sister company, Ruralogic Inc., are fiduciaries to the Attevo 401(k) retirement plan, along with two of the companies’ owners, C. David Snyder and Joseph Burmester. All are named as defendants in the suit.
Snyder and Cirric Inc. allegedly failed to remit $68,439.14 in participant contributions and participant loan repayments that were withheld from the paychecks of Cirric Inc.’s employees to the plan for the period of Jan. 31, 2009, through July 2, 2012. Burmester and Ruralogic Inc. allegedly failed to remit $54,899.71 in participant contributions that were withheld from the paychecks of Ruralogic Inc.’s employees to the plan from July 31, 2010, to June 29, 2012.
The investigation determined, that from Jan. 1, 2009, through July 2, 2012, Snyder, Burmester, Cirric Inc., and Ruralogic Inc. failed to timely remit participant contributions and participant loan repayments to the plan. In addition, the complaint alleges that Cirric Inc. failed to administer the participant loan program, resulting in a defaulted participant loan. Finally, Cirric Inc. also failed to maintain a fidelity bond.
The complaint seeks the restoration of all losses to the plan, including the $123,338.85 in unremitted participant contributions and participant loan repayments, plus lost opportunity costs. Further, the complaint seeks to permanently bar Snyder and Burmester from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan, and asks that the court appoint an independent fiduciary to terminate the plan. As of Aug. 13, 2013, the plan had 24 participants and $379,424.20 in assets.
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 www.askebsa.dol.gov or calling 866-444-EBSA (3272).
Thomas Perez, secretary of labor v. Charles David Snyder; Joseph Burmester; Cirric Inc., f/k/a Averrock Inc., f/k/a Attevo Inc.; and Ruralogic Inc.
Civil Action Number 1:13-cv-02474-CAB
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.