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US Labor Department obtains judgment, order against The Children’s Place, employee medical benefit plan administrator for restitution
Date of action: June 1, 2016
Type of action: Consent Judgment and Order
Name of Defendants: The Children’s Place Inc.; The Children’s Place Inc. Welfare Benefit Plan; Hendrik Johannes Lamprecht
Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration filed a complaint on Dec. 30, 2014, against The Children’s Place Inc. – based in Bradenton, Florida – The Children’s Place Inc. Welfare Benefit Plan and plan administrator Hendrik Johannes Lamprecht. The complaint alleges the company and Lamprecht withheld a total of $14,193 in employee premium contributions from employees’ pay, and then failed to forward the withholdings to the welfare benefit plan. In doing so, the defendants violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Employee participants and their dependents incurred expenses of $13,979 for unpaid medical and prescription drug charges after their insurance coverage lapsed due to nonpayment of premiums. Subsequent to the complaint filing, new information revealed the defendants withheld a total of $19,524 in employee premium contributions from employee participants’ pay and failed to forward the withholdings to the plan or its insurance carriers.
Resolution: On March 30, 2016, a U.S. District Court in Tampa entered a default judgment ordering The Children’s Place Inc. to pay restitution of $37,778 to the plan, plus post-judgment interest. The court also:
- Enjoins The Children’s Place Inc. from violating Title I of ERISA.
- Permanently bars The Children’s Place Inc. from acting as an ERISA fiduciary, trustee, agent, or representative in any capacity to any employee benefit plan, as defined by ERISA.
- Removes The Children’s Place Inc. from any fiduciary position that it held, as well as any other position regarding the plan.
This order pertained solely to The Children’s Place Inc. as litigation against Lamprecht continued.
On May 31, 2016, the court issued a consent judgment requiring Lamprecht to pay $20,000 in restitution to the plan on or before Oct. 31, 2016. The court also permanently enjoined Lamprecht from violating Title I of ERISA and from acting as a fiduciary, trustee, agent, or representative in any capacity to any employee benefit plan, as defined by ERISA. The court also appointed AMI Benefit Plan Administrators Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio as the independent successor fiduciary. AMB will collect, marshal and administer the assets of the plan for the benefit of its participants and beneficiaries.
Court: U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division
Docket Number: 8:14-cv-3236-JDW-TGW