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News Brief

US Labor Department sues defunct Oregon wood manufacturing company and its owner to restore retirement plan assets

Date of Action: May 1, 2015

Type of Action: Complaint

Names of Defendants: Charles W. Buller; Park Place Wood Products Inc.; and the Park Place Woods Products Inc. Retirement Savings Plan

Allegations: Based on an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration, the department has filed a complaint alleging that defunct Oregon-based Park Place Wood Products Inc. and its owner, Charles W. Buller, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when, for two years beginning on January 2010, they failed to remit to the company's retirement plan at least $53,611 of employee contributions and loan repayments that had been withheld from employees' salaries.

The complaint also alleges that Buller withdrew $131,550 from the plan at various times between July 2011 and December 2012, deposited the funds either into his or his company's bank account, and used the money for non-plan purposes.

Resolution: The department is asking the court to order Buller and Park Place Wood Products Inc. to restore any losses, including lost opportunity costs, to the plan and to correct the prohibited transactions. The suit also seeks to permanently remove Park Place Wood Products and Buller as fiduciaries and to permanently enjoin them from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to any plan covered by ERISA. The department also seeks the appointment of an independent fiduciary, to be paid by Buller and his company, to distribute the plan's assets and to terminate the plan.

Court: United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division

Docket Number: 3:15-cv-00747-HZ

Employee Benefits Security Administration
May 4, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali