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News Release

Tennessee Insurance Agency to Pay $3,818,181 in Restitution to Employee Stock Ownership Plan After U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

NASHVILLE, TN The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, has approved a settlement between the U.S. Department of Labor, Zander Group Holdings Inc., Stephen Thompson and Jeffrey Zander involving the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) found in September 2011, the Zander Group Holdings Inc. ESOP paid more than fair market value when it purchased a 49 percent interest in Zander Insurance in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). In keeping with the parties’ settlement agreement, defendants will pay $3,818,181 in restitution to the ESOP. The department also assessed a civil penalty of $381,818 against the defendants.

“Individuals and companies acting on behalf of retirement plan participants must act in good faith and in their workers’ best interests,” said EBSA Regional Director Isabel Culver, in Atlanta, Georgia. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to work to protect the retirement plans of hardworking Americans.”

Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at

EBSA’s mission is to assure the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families. EBSA accomplishes this mission by developing effective regulations; assisting and educating workers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers; and vigorously enforcing the law.

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.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 18, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
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