Court Finds Pension Trustee Guilty of Embezzlement

The trustee is ordered to pay $234,271 in restitution, serve a year of probation and is barred from serving as a fiduciary to a benefit plan for 13 years.

After an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland Division, has ordered a former pension benefit plan trustee to pay $234,271 in restitution and serve one year of probation for violating federal criminal statues pertaining to plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The trustee has also been barred from serving as a fiduciary or service provider to an employee benefit plan for 13 years.

EBSA discovered that Lisa Marie Rossi, the operating manager and trustee to E-D Coat Inc.’s profit-sharing plan, removed $66,049 from the plan’s accounts. After being charged with one count of theft, Rossi pled guilty.

“The prosecution of theft and embezzlement from employee benefits plans supports the Department of Labor’s mission to protect the rights of America’s workers, including the right to receive benefits earned through employer-sponsored retirement and health benefit plans,” says Klaus Placke, EBSA’s acting regional director in San Francisco. “EBSA will continue to aggressively investigate such crimes on behalf of workers nationwide.”