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News Brief

Court finds $36K owed to employee retirement plan by president of Philadelphia public accounting firm is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy

Date of Action: Aug. 5, 2016

Type of Action: Consent order entered into court

Name(s) of Defendant(s): Howard C. Lapensohn

Allegations: An investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found:

Lapensohn Accounting Professionals LLC, a Philadelphia public accounting firm, sponsored the Lapensohn Accounting Professionals LLC SIMPLE IRA plan for its employees. Howard C. Lapensohn, president and sole owner of the company, exercised discretionary authority and control over the management of the plan and its assets.   

From April 2008 to December 2011, Lapensohn violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by deducting sums from participants’ pay as employee contributions and not remitting them to the plan, and failed to make mandatory employer matching contributions to the plan.  The missing contributions and prejudgment lost earnings totaled $36,828. 

The Secretary of Labor filed a complaint against Lapensohn and the company on June 12, 2015, to recover the amounts owed to the plan.  The parties agreed to a consent judgment, which was approved and entered on July 1, 2015, that ordered Lapensohn to restore $36,828 in restitution to the plan. Subsequently, Lapensohn filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 30, 2016. He has never made a payment towards the satisfaction of the consent judgment.  

Resolution: On June 29, 2016, the Secretary of Labor and Lapensohn agreed to a consent judgment declaring Lapensohn’s debt to the plan as non-dischargeable, which was entered into court on Aug. 5, 2016.   

Court:  U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Docket Number: 16-12152-JKF

Employee Benefits Security Administration
August 10, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins