News Brief

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US Department of Labor obtains consent judgment ordering trustees of Western Steel Erection 401(k) Plan to restore more than $5,900 in benefits

Western Steel Erection 401(k) Plan to restore more than $5,900 in benefits

Date of Action: May 6, 2014

Type of Action: Consent Judgment and Order

Names of Defendant: Stephanie J. Jochims and Robert C. Jochims

Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment ordering Stephanie J. Jochims, the former owner of Western Steel Erection, Inc., and her husband Robert C. Jochims, to restore $5,957 in employee retirement contributions and loan repayments to the Western Steel Erection 401(k) Plan. The company was located in Long Lake, Minn.

An investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration revealed that the defendants, as co-trustees of the company’s 401(k) plan, failed to forward employee retirement contributions and loan repayments during the months leading up to the company’s closure in February 2010.

The Department’s lawsuit alleged that the Jochims violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining the contributions in the company’s account and using them for non-plan purposes. The lawsuit also alleged the Jochims failed to properly terminate the plan, causing the participants to incur unnecessary fees and costs.

Resolution: The consent judgment orders the defendants to restore $5,957 in employee retirement contributions and loan repayments to the plan. The defendants will also provide proof of restoration and other verification to the Labor Department. Finally, the judgment prohibits the defendants from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any employee benefit plan after they have repaid the amounts owed to the Western Steel retirement plan and distributed its assets to the plan participants.

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

Docket Number: 0:14-cv-00132

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: 
05/06/2014
Release Number: 
CHI-14-17