Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.
U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in North Carolina Business Owners Paying $21,404 in Employee Contributions, Unpaid Medical Claims
CHARLOTTE, NC – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, has entered a consent judgment and order between the U.S. Department of Labor and Steven Matthew Good, William H. Winn Jr., SmartCore LLC, and the SmartCore LLC Group Health Benefit Plan requiring them to pay $21,404 to the plan participants to cover unpaid medical claims or to reimburse their contributions to the plan.
The order follows a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation that concluded that between January 15, 2016, and February 19, 2016, Good and Winn failed to remit employee contributions, totaling $14,363 to the plan's claims administrator, resulting in a total of $52,187 in unpaid medical claims. The judgment and order requires payment of the outstanding amount of unpaid medical claims and unremitted contributions remaining after a settlement in private litigation, which substantially reduced the amount of unpaid medical claims.
The judgment enjoins Winn permanently from being a fiduciary, trustee, agent, or representative in any capacity to any employee benefit plan, as defined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). For a period of three years, Good will be barred from being a fiduciary, trustee, agent or representative in any capacity to any employee benefit plan, and will be required to complete fiduciary training. AMI Benefit Plan Administrators Inc. will be the successor fiduciary and will distribute the settlement amount to plan participants and beneficiaries.
"This consent order and judgment ensures that employees who participated in the company's health plan will get their benefits and outstanding medical claims paid," said Employee Benefits Security Administration Deputy Regional Director Lawrence Thompson, in Atlanta, Georgia. "Fiduciaries must work solely in the interest of plans and participants."
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, SmartCore installed information technology systems, fire, and security systems when it dissolved in 2016 with approximately 60 employees.
EBSA's Atlanta Regional Office conducted the investigation, and the Regional Solicitor's Office litigated the case on the Department's behalf.
Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. For additional information: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.
EBSA is committed to educating and assisting the nearly 149 million workers, retirees, and their families covered by approximately 703,000 private retirement plans, 2.3 million health plans, and similar numbers of other welfare benefit plans holding approximately $9.9 trillion in assets; as well as plan sponsors and members of the employee benefits community. EBSA balances proactive enforcement with compliance assistance and works diligently to provide quality assistance to plan participants and beneficiaries. It is the policy of EBSA to provide the highest quality of service to its customers.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.