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News Brief

US Labor Department files complaint to restore losses to the Nickson’s Machine Shop Inc. 401(k) Savings Plan in Santa Maria, Calif.

Date of Action: Jan. 10, 2014

Type of Action: Complaint

Name of Defendants: Nickson’s Machine Shop Inc., Dennis W. Leal and Nickson’s Machine Shop 401(k) Savings Plan

Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a complaint against Nickson’s Machine Shop Inc., Dennis W. Leal, its president, and the Nickson’s Machine Shop 401(k) Savings Plan, alleging that from July 2006 to July 2011, the Santa Maria, Calif. company and Leal caused $47,745 in employee contributions and participant loan payments to be withheld from employees’ paychecks but failed to remit these amounts to the Plan’s trust account. The department further alleges that the money was retained and commingled in the company’s general assets and used for non-plan purposes.

Resolution: The complaint seeks the restoration of $57,991 in losses and lost-opportunity costs to the Plan resulting from the fiduciary violations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The department also asks the court to remove Nickson’s Machine Shop and Leal as fiduciaries of the Plan, to permanently enjoin Leal from acting as a fiduciary or service provider to any ERISA-covered plan, appoint an independent fiduciary to administer the Plan, and order the company and Leal to pay the costs of an independent fiduciary.

Court: United States District Court for the Central District of California

Docket Number: 2:14-cv-00235

Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at

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.

Release Date
February 7, 2014
Release Number
14-230-SAN (SF-13)