The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has sentenced a former multiemployer plan fund manager to make restitution in the amount of $45,896 and serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The action follows a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation that determined Brandi Box Stephens, as fund manager for the Iron Workers Local Union No. 92 Welfare Plan and the Iron Workers Local Union No. 92 Pension Plan, altered her own paychecks by increasing the amount she was due, as well as issuing additional payroll checks to herself by securing signatures of plan trustees and changing the name of the payee on the check to match her name.
In addition, Stephens entered false information on the paper stubs attached to the physical checks, and made fraudulent entries into the plans’ accounting records.
She has been barred from acting as a fiduciary for five years.
“Theft from retirement plans and pensions has significant adverse effects on the livelihood and peace of mind of workers,” says EBSA Regional Director Isabel Colon. “Our Department takes these actions seriously and will continue to investigate any action that threatens retirement benefits workers have earned.”