News Brief

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US Labor Department files suit against Melrose, Mass., retirement plan fiduciaries to recover uncollected contributions, appoint independent fiduciary
Perez v. Heatech Inc. and Michael Fitzmeyer

Date of Action: March 28, 2014

Type of Action: Complaint

Names of Defendant: Heatech Inc. and Michael Fitzmeyer, in their capacity as fiduciaries of the Heatech Inc. Retirement Plan

Allegations: The Heatech Inc. Retirement Plan was established in January 2002 to provide pension benefits for its participants, employees and their beneficiaries of the Melrose, Mass., company. The plan was suspended in December 2011. Heatech Inc. was the plan sponsor and administrator while Fitzmeyer, the company’s owner and president, was the plan’s trustee. The plan was funded through elective deferrals from employees’ salaries which were remitted to the plan for investment and from matching contributions from the employer. Heatech and Fitzmeyer were responsible for receiving, collecting and forwarding any monies due to the plan and for properly managing the plan’s assets.

An investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that the defendants failed to remit withheld employee contributions to the plan in a timely manner, causing lost opportunity earnings for the plan; failed to remit $19,881 in withheld employee contributions to the plan; failed to take appropriate measures to collect $16,397 in employer contributions due to the plan; and failed to secure a fidelity bond for the plan.

Resolution: The Department is asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from violations or participating in violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act; permanently prohibit defendant Fitzmeyer from serving as a fiduciary to this or any other ERISA-covered employee benefit plan; require the defendants to undo prohibited transactions, acquire a fidelity bond for the plan and restore to the plan any and all losses incurred as a result of their breaches and violations of their fiduciary duties. The department is also asking the court to appoint an independent fiduciary for the plan.

Court: U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Docket Number: 1:14-cv-11536

U.S. Department of Labor 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.

EBSA News Brief: 
04/02/2014
Release Number: 
BOS 2014-045