News Brief

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US Labor Department files suit to recover more than $30,000 in employee contributions to benefit plans of defunct Hanco Inc. in Peru, Indiana

Date of Action: Sept. 22, 2014

Type of Action: Complaint, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Names of Defendant: Hanco Inc., doing business as Classico Seating, Harry T. Richardson Jr., the Hanco Inc. 401(k) Plan, the Hanco Inc. Health Plan and the Hanco Inc. Dental Plan

Summary: The complaint alleges that restaurant seating manufacturer Hanco Inc., which did business as Classico Seating, and Harry T. Richardson Jr., its chief financial officer and secretary, violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act when managing the company’s 401(k), health and dental plans. The defendants allegedly failed to forward more than $30,000 in contributions withheld from employees’ pay to the Plans.  At all relevant times, Hanco and Richardson were fiduciaries and parties in interest to the three plans.

The Department alleges that during the period from Oct. 14, 2011, through Feb. 17, 2012, Hanco failed to remit participant contributions totaling $5,242.08, which were withheld from participants’ pay, to the Hanco Inc. 401(k) Plan.  As of Jan. 29, 2013, the  Plan had 12 participants and assets totaling $50,657.89.

Additionally, during the period from Aug. 5, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2011, Hanco withheld $22,863.09 in participant premium contributions and failed to forward these contributions to the Hanco Inc. Health Plan or its insurer for the payment of health insurance premiums. During the period from Feb. 4, 2011 through May 20, 2011, Hanco withheld $2,282.60 in participant premium contributions and failed to forward these contributions to the Hanco Inc. Dental Plan or its insurer for the payment of dental insurance premiums.

On Feb, 21, 2012, Hanco Inc. ceased operating, terminated all of its employees, and liquidated its assets through a state-ordered receivership. Since Feb. 21, 2012, Hanco Inc. and Richardson have failed to terminate the 401(k) Plan and authorize distributions to participants and beneficiaries.

Resolution: The Department is asking the court to order defendants Hanco and Richardson to restore to all three plans all losses, including lost opportunity costs, resulting from their fiduciary breaches and to permanently enjoining both defendants from violating ERISA and serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan. The suit also asks the court to appoint an independent fiduciary to terminate the 401(k) Plan and distribute its assets to qualified participants.

Court: Northern District of Indiana

Docket Number: 3:14:cv-01908

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: 
09/24/2014
Release Number: 
14-34-CHI