Tuesday, March 27, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Former CEO of Nebraska Pharmaceutical Benefits Management Company Being Sentenced to One Year in Jail for Kickback Scheme

TYLER, TX – After a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has sentenced Douglas M. Pick, former CEO of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Inc. (PTI), to one year and one day in federal prison for paying illegal kickbacks in an effort to steer benefit plans to the company. The sentencing of Pick follows his Feb. 13, 2017, guilty plea.

Friday, March 23, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Former Union Trustee Admitting to Causing False Entry for Expense Reimbursements

CHICAGO, IL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), a U.S. District Court in Chicago has sentenced Robert Melko, a former trustee of the Trust Fund for Apprentice & Journeyman Education &Training, Local 130 U.A., to six months of probation and 60 hours of community service after he pleaded guilty to willfully causing a false entry in books, records, reports, and statements in violation of Title 29 U.S. Code Section 439(c).

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Trustee Being Sentenced for Theft of Employee Benefit Plan Funds in California

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – After a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, has ordered a former pension benefit plan trustee to pay $234,271 in restitution and to serve one year of probation for violating federal criminal statutes pertaining to plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Friday, February 9, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Results in Sentencing Of Former Connecticut Resident for Theft of Benefit Checks

HARTFORD, CT – After an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and Office of Inspector General (OIG), Yolanda Silverio, a former eligibility coordinator for a Connecticut company that administers trust funds for public and private sector health benefit plans, has been sentenced by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut to 10 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release.

Friday, February 9, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Investigations Help Retirement Plans Recover Nearly $16 Million After Losses from Fraudulent Loans

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a settlement agreement with U.S. Fiduciary Services and three of its subsidiaries that provides for payment of more than $7 million to 42 retirement plans that suffered losses as a result of investments in fictitious loans made by Florida-based First Farmers Financial LLC (FFF).

Friday, February 2, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Assists in Pension Fund Theft Investigation That Nets Criminal Conviction

PROVIDENCE, RI – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) participated in a multi-agency investigation related to pension fund theft that has resulted in a criminal conviction. John M. Hairabet, Jr., a former business associate and office manager of New England Anesthesiologists Inc.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Court Orders Illinois Business Owner to Restore Losses To Retirement Plan and Trust After Fiduciary Violations

CHICAGO, IL – Following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a judgment requiring Michael Lewis, former president of Acme Orthotics and Prosthetic Laboratories Inc., to restore $128,535.75 in losses owed to the company’s Profit Sharing 401(k) Plan and Trust (“Plan”).

Friday, January 5, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Decision on April 1, 2018, Applicability of Final Rule Amending Claims Procedure for Disability Benefit Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today its decision for April 1, 2018, as the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with a final rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that will give America’s workers new procedural protections when dealing with plan fiduciaries and insurance providers who deny their claims for disability benefits.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Expand Access to Healthcare Through Small Business Health Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to expand the opportunity to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses through Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice in Connection with U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Investigation, and Lawsuit

CONCORD, NH – A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of obstruction of justice in connection with a U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour investigation and litigation. It is believed to be the first federal criminal prosecution arising from a Department wage and hour investigation in New Hampshire.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Court Orders Repayment of $45,896 and Sentences Former Fund Manager In Pension Plan Theft to Serve 5 Years of Probation

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, has sentenced a former fund manager in Birmingham to make restitution in the amount of $45,896 and serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In addition, she has been barred from acting as a fiduciary for five years.

Monday, November 27, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Transition Period For Fiduciary Rule Exemptions

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an 18-month extension from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special Transition Period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and of the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTEs). This follows public comment on a proposed extension that was published in August.

Friday, November 24, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Announces 90-Day Delay of Applicability Date For Disability Claims Procedure Amendments

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a ninety (90) day delay – through April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Guidance and Relief to Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Maria and October 2017 California Wildfires

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the October 2017 California Wildfires.

The Department understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries may encounter issues complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) over the next few months as the implications of Hurricane Maria and the California Wildfires unfold.

Monday, November 20, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Advance Copies Of Form 5500 Annual Return/Report for 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor and First Bankers Trust Settle ESOP Lawsuits; Agreement Includes $15.75 Million Recovery for Retirement Plans

NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached agreements to resolve three lawsuits with First Bankers Trust Services Inc. (FBTS). The lawsuits alleged that FBTS violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it approved stock purchases by three Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). As part of the agreements, FBTS will pay $15.75 million to the plans and reform its procedures for handling ESOP transactions.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Obtains a Temporary Restraining Order to Protect Participants and Beneficiaries of Failing MEWA

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against AEU Holdings LLC and AEU Benefits LLC (collectively “AEU”), and Black Wolf Consulting Inc. The defendants failed to pay more than $26 million for participants’ health benefit claims in the AEU Holdings LLC Employee Benefit Plan.

Friday, November 3, 2017

General Foreman at Port Elizabeth Convicted of Submitting False Timesheets

NEWARK, NJ – After a seven-day trial, a jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Newark found Paul Moe Sr., general foreman for a Port Elizabeth terminal operator, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 substantive counts of wire fraud.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Florida Insurance Scam Leads to $1.6 Million Restitution and Incarceration

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has sentenced a Port St. Lucie resident to serve 161 months of imprisonment, followed by an additional three years of supervised release, and to make $1,665,348 in restitution for violating federal criminal statutes pertaining to plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Friday, September 15, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Hurricane Harvey Compliance Guidance and Relief to Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Irma

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Irma that parallels that which it already provided to victims of Hurricane Harvey regarding verification procedures for plan loans and distributions, participant contributions and loan payments, blackout notices, and group health plan compliance. The Hurricane Harvey relief was announced on Aug. 30, 2017, in EBSA Release Number 17-1216-NAT.