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November 05, 2001
Settlement in ERISA-Violation Case
Cha
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rges that a Los Angeles software company failed to forward employee contributions to its pension plan have been resolved, with the U.S. Department of Labor obtaining consent judgments from the company and two of its former executives.

One consent judgment, entered October 29, applies to Uni Prise Systems Inc., former Uni Prise chief executive officer and majority shareholder Robert Mowry, and Uni Prise's retirement plan. It enjoins Mowry and Uni Prise from serving as fiduciaries to any employee pension benefit plan for 20 years.

The other consent judgment, filed on September 20, involves Joseph Perry, Uni Prise's former director/president. It enjoins him from serving as a fiduciary to any employee pension benefit plan for five years. The $7,622 in losses to the plan were also restored in full by Perry.

The judgments resolve a lawsuit filed on April 4, 2001, against Uni Prise, Mowry, and Perry for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

According to the complaint, Mowry exercised the ultimate authority in deciding whether employee contributions were forwarded to the plan or used to pay other Uni Prise business expenses.

Mowry was also an individual acting on behalf of Uni Prise as the plan administrator.

Also, according to the complaint, Perry ran the daily operations of Uni Prise and had the authority to decide whether employee contributions were forwarded to the plan or used to pay other Uni Prise expenses. Perry was also an individual acting on behalf of Uni Prise as the plan administrator.

The Labor Department's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration said the original lawsuit was part of an ongoing initiative to ensure compliance with ERISA fiduciary standards with respect to timely deposit of employees' contributions to 401(k) plans.

"This case exemplifies our commitment to protect the hard-earned benefits of workers," said Billy Beaver, head of the PWBA's Los Angeles office.

The consent judgments were entered on October 29, 2001, and September 20, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


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