News Brief

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US Labor Department sues steel fabrication company in Chico, California, to restore more than $30,000 to 401(k) Plan

Date of Action: January 14, 2015

Type of Action: Complaint

Names of Defendants: Butte Steel & Fabrication Inc.; Jeffrey Brochheuser; and the Butte Steel & Fabrication Inc. 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan

Allegations: Butte Steel & Fabrication Inc. sponsored a 401(k) Plan. From July 1, 2010 to August 16, 2012, Jeffrey Brochheuser caused Butte Steel to withhold over $30,000 from employees’ paychecks that was never paid to the Plan.  Specifically, Butte Steel withheld at least $28,881 from employees’ pay for contribution to the 401(k) Plan and at least $3,065 for participant loan repayments to the Plan but failed to remit the amounts to the Plan. Instead, Butte Steel retained the withheld amounts in its corporate account, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The complaint further alleges that from January 16, 2009 to June 30, 2010, Butte Steel withheld at least $52,139 from employees’ pay for contributions and at least $11,974 for participant loan repayments to the 401(k) Plan and kept those funds in the corporate account for too long before remitting them to the Plan.

Resolution: The department is asking the court to order Butte Steel and Jeffrey Brochheuser to restore all losses, including lost opportunity costs, to the 401(k) Plan and to permanently enjoin Brochheuser from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to any plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The complaint also seeks the appointment of an independent fiduciary to distribute the Plan’s assets to the participants and beneficiaries and conclude any plan-related matters connected with the proper termination of the Plan.

Court: United States District Court, Eastern District of California

Docket Number: 2:15-cv-00118-MCE-KJN

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

EBSA News Brief: 
01/16/2015
Contact Name: 

Leo Kay

Phone Number: 
Contact Name: 

Jose Carnevali

Phone Number: 
Release Number: 
15-84-SAN (SF-1)