US Department of Labor issues statement following sentencing of Northeast Carpenters Benefit Funds’ former plan administrator
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor issued the following statement on today’s sentencing of George Laufenberg, former plan administrator of the Northeast Carpenters Benefit Funds, who pleaded guilty on June 3, 2022, to embezzling approximately $140,000 and making false statements to the department.
“Today’s sentencing sends an important message to all those entrusted with protecting benefit plan assets. Regardless of title or position, the Department of Labor will hold fiduciaries to the highest standards of accountability to protect the benefits of America’s workers,” said New York Regional Director Thomas Licetti of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.
U.S. District Court Judge Kevin R. McNulty for the District of New Jersey today sentenced George Laufenberg to three years of probation with six months of home confinement and a fine of $20,000 for defrauding the Northeast Carpenters Benefit Funds. As the funds’ administrator, Laufenberg was charged with managing, administering, and safeguarding hundreds of millions of dollars in plan assets. Instead, he used that authority to defraud plan participants and the plans by stealing pension assets and then concealing his theft in government filings to continue his crimes. No restitution was ordered as a result of Laufenberg’s settlement in a separate civil case with the Northeast Carpenters Benefit Funds, which cited his other conduct charged in the original indictment where he forfeited his pension supplement of $14,000 per month.