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News Brief

US Labor Department sues Exton electrical equipment installation company to restore $166K to employees’ 401(k) retirement plan

Date of Action: Sept. 22, 2016

Type of Action: Complaint

Name(s) of Defendants: Steven Keares Inc.
Harry Keares
Steven Keares Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan

Background:  Steven Keares Inc., an electrical equipment installation company with offices in Exton, Pennsylvania, sponsored the Steven Keares Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan for its employees. Harry Keares is the company’s president and the plan’s trustee with authority over the plan.        

Allegations: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found the company and Keares violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in several instances. Investigators determined from April 27, 2012, through Dec. 26, 2014, the company withheld employees’ pay but then failed to remit $33,411 in employee contributions and $9,311 in employee loan repayments to the plan. The lost earnings through June 7, 2016, are $4,128.

Additionally, from Dec. 28, 2011, through April 18, 2014, the company failed to pay $111,403.29 in prevailing wage contributions to the plan. The lost earnings on the prevailing wage contributions are $7,766.

The total restitution owed to the plan is $166,021.71.

Resolution: The complaint seeks restitution of the missing employee contributions, loan repayments, prevailing wage contributions and the plan’s lost earnings. It also seeks to:

  • Apply Keares’ account balance, if available, to the plan’s losses.
  • Remove the company and Keares as plan fiduciaries.
  • Appoint an independent fiduciary to terminate and distribute the plan's assets to the participants.
  • Permanently bar the company and Keares from serving as plan fiduciaries.   

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

Case Number: 16-5072

Employee Benefits Security Administration
September 22, 2016
Release Number
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins