The Department of Labor filed a civil suit against Explore General Inc., Fresno, Calif., claiming it failed to put more than $70,000 in employee contributions into the company's 401(k) plan and didn't make more than $100,000 in employer contributions owed to the plan, according to a DOL news release.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleges that the company; its owner and president, Jaime Gonzalez; and the plan's administrator, Paul Gong, commingled employee contributions with the general assets of the company and used the money to pay the firm's general operating expenses, in violation of ERISA.
The lawsuit asks the court to order Mr. Gonzalez and the company to restore to the plan all losses with interest, remove the company as a plan fiduciary and permanently bar Messrs. Gonzalez and Gong from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any ERISA plan, the news release said.
Neither Messrs. Gonzalez nor Gong was available for comment, and the company's attorney, Myron F. Smith, had not returned telephone calls by press time seeking comment.
DOL spokeswoman Gloria Della was not able to provide the fund's asset size by press time.