EBSA News Release: [06/18/2012]
Contact Name: Deanne Amaden or Jose A. Carnevali
Phone Number: (415) 625-2630 or x2631
Release Number: 12-1179-SAN
Former CEO of defunct Southern California electrical contractor agrees to restore more than $570,000 in 401(k) funds to employees
Settlement reached following US Labor Department investigation, lawsuit
LOS ANGELES The U.S. Department of Labor has reached an agreement with the former president and CEO of Aliso Viejo-based Journey Electrical Technologies Inc., a defunct electrical contractor, to restore $570,983 to the company's 401(k) plan. According to a partial consent judgment and order, Mark Dell Donne of San Clemente has agreed to restore $472,235 to the plan. Dell Donne, who served as a fiduciary of the plan, already has restored $98,748 to the plan's accounts.
"We are pleased to be able to secure these retirement funds for the company's former employees," said Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of labor for employee benefits security. "Employees working on government construction or service contracts are often unaware of the benefits they are entitled to under prevailing wage laws, including fringe benefit payments to their employee benefit plans. Plan fiduciaries have a legal responsibility to ensure that this money is properly deposited in employee accounts."
The Labor Department's lawsuit resulted from an investigation by its Employee Benefits Security Administration, which determined that, between January 2004 and March 2008, some of the employees' wages for work performed on public works projects were deposited in the company's general funds instead of the workers' 401(k) plan accounts as required under the government contracts. Employee elective 401(k) contributions and participant loan payments also were not forwarded for deposit into plan accounts, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
The plan had 105 participants and a balance of more than $1.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2010, the latest information available.
The partial consent judgment and order, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno, permanently bars Dell Donne from violating ERISA and removes him as a plan trustee upon the appointment of an independent fiduciary who will collect and pay out the assets in the plan's accounts.
The action resulted from an investigation by EBSA's Los Angeles Regional Office and was litigated by the department's regional Office of the Solicitor. Employers and workers can contact EBSA at 626-229-1000 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for assistance with problems related to private sector pension and health plans.
EBSA protects the security of retirement, health and other workplace-related benefits of America's workers, retirees and their families. The agency oversees approximately 708,000 private sector retirement plans, 2.8 million health plans and other plans that provide benefits to more than 150 million Americans. Collectively, these plans hold more than $6 trillion in assets. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/.
Solis v. Timothy John Hardt et al.
Civil Action Number: 1:10-CV-02283-AWI-JLT