On May 20, the U.S. Dept. of Labor won a consent order and judgement in which four trustees of a Portage, Indiana, union agreed to repay nearly $500,000 to the pension plan they ran. The trustees, Andre Joseph, Raymond Sierra, David Lynch and Edward Rentz, resigned from the pension and welfare plan of Local 1969 of the Intl. Longshoremen's Assn, and are permanently barred by the order from serving on any benefit plan. Yet all four still serve as officials and agents of either the local or intl. unions.
"The trustees violated one of the most fundamental rules of ERISA, [The Employment Retirement Income Security Act] that assets of employee benefit plans may be used only to pay benefits and legitimate plan expenses," said Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
The Dep't of Labor filed suit May 24 against the trustees and service providers of the pension, welfare and off-season supplement plans of Int'l Longshoremen's Ass'n Local 1969 in Portage, Ind., for violations of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. DOL alleges the trustees authorized multi-million dollar payments to parties-in-interest in connection with two Nev. real estate deals. Named in the suit were trustees Andre Joseph, Raymond Sierra, David Lynch, and Edward Rentz as well as Michael A. Daher, sole owner and investment advisor with Leader in Marketing Fulfillment, Inc. (LMF) and John Sherwood Dunsmoor who had power of attorney over the pension plan account.