FREMONT, OH – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Cincinnati office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Department of Labor has obtained a consent order and judgment requiring the fiduciaries of Fremont, Ohio-based Techniform Industries Inc. 401(k) Plan to restore $23,716 to the plan and pay a penalty of $4,743 for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
EBSA investigators found that the company’s fiduciaries – president and chief executive officer Clifford Robinette, and trustees Marlene Robinette and Wendy Mowry – violated ERISA. The violations occurred when the fiduciaries failed to remit contributions withheld from employees’ pay to the plan and retained some of those contributions in a corporate account.
Under the terms of the consent order and judgment, entered in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo, the three fiduciaries have agreed to waive all rights to their personal unremitted loan repayments and lost opportunity costs.
“This consent order and judgment ensures that employees who participated in the company’s retirement plan will have access to their hard-earned retirement benefits,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Joe Rivers, in Cincinnati. “Fiduciaries must work solely in the interest of plans and participants.”
Under terms of the order, Mowry will contact the plan’s custodian of assets, John Hancock Financial Services, and receive instructions for the plan’s termination and send distribution instructions to participants.
The court also permanently enjoined the Robinettes and Mowry from serving as fiduciaries to any employee benefit plan in the future.
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 https://www.dol.gov/ebsa.
Acosta v. Clifford Robinette, Marlene Robinette, Wendy Mowry, Techniform Industries Inc. and Techniform Industries Inc. 401(k) Plan.
Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-01556